THE future of the failed £24 million Altrincham health hub remains unclear as health bosses continue to try and find tenants for the building.

A Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (TCCG) report reveals a cafe and chemist may soon take up residency alongside the new library.

It was built as a multi-million-pound health and wellbeing centre by NHS bosses.

During the planning phase, the centre was hailed as a major new hub for south Trafford – and designed to provide patients with a range of services, including minor surgery.

The construction of the building was managed by local developer Citybranch, who agreed on a £35 million deal with investment company Canada Life to fund the build.

Canada Life took control of the building  in October and NHS Property Services is now leasing the building from Canada Life for £2.4 million a year including utility bills, as part of a 30-year-deal.

A string of tenants, including St John’s medical centre, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS trust, Pennine Community Services and Barrington medical centre, had all been lined up to move into the new Market Street building.

However, St John’s said the move would cost its practice an additional £70,000 a year, while Pennine said it was looking at £500,000 in extra overheads and Greater Manchester mental health trust £375,000.

They all pulled out if the move and as a result, the building remains without tenants, apart from the community library. 

To make use of the site, TCCG then said its preferred option would be to convert the building from medical use into commercial office space – costing another £7 million.

Meanwhile, Jon Rouse, chief officer for Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, launched an independent review to uncover what went wrong.

The probe was expected to conclude in December, but was delayed until sometime in the new year.

The newly appointed accountable officer for TCCG, Martyn Pritchard, said attempts to fill the building with health services remains a priority.

Speaking during Trafford council’s health and scrutiny meeting he said: “The first priority is to find social care services that can operate from the building.

“And then look at public sector agencies – and other potential uses for the site.

“However, at the moment I can’t give you an update on any secured agreements yet, but I will when things move on.”

Committee chairman Rob Chilton rubbished the report and labelled it "repetitive".

“There is nothing in this document that we couldn’t have worked out for ourselves,” he said.

“Future reports need to be more concise.”

But Cllr Anne Duffield said there was tremendous concern within the community about how things got to this point.

“I know there is a review under way – and this committee will expect to see the results of that,” she said.

“I also hope the report will be made public because the people of Trafford deserve to know how and what has happened here.”

Cllr Sophie Taylor echoed her colleague’s comments and described the situation as "nothing more than scandalous".

“Lessons have to be learned,” she said.

“I mean how has a vast amount of taxpayers’ money been sunk into a white elephant?

“It’s scandalous.”

Cllr Angela Bruer-Morris described the proposal to rent space to a pharmacy and cafe "disapointing".

NHS England was contacted for a comment.