GROUPS hoping to retain Lydney Hospital for community use have just weeks to register  an interest.

The hospital was listed by the Forest Council as a “community asset” in 2018, meaning that local organisations would have the first opportunity to bid when it came to be sold.

NHS Gloucestershire has confirmed that the six week period given to community to exercise the right to bid started on October.

The hospital will be marketed by property consultants Alder King but no details have yet been made public.

Lydney Town Council, which was behind the the listing of the hospital as a community asset, has  indicated it would support a move.

But, at the moment, any group expressing an interest would  have no idea about how much it would cost or exactly what will be included in the sale.

It is known, for example, that the Stonebury building will remain with the Gloucestershire Health and Care Trust as a base for health visitors as their planned move to the proposed new Lydney Health Centre will depend on progress on the stalled development.

Any potential bidder has until November 13 to register an interest which has to be made to the Forest Council.

If an expression of interest is made, there will there be a six-month moratorium on a private sale to allow the bidder to develop proposals and raise finance.

There will then be a “protected period” lasting until April 2 2025 for the trust to dispose of the site once the moratorium has ended.

The announcement of the intention to sell the Lydney Hospital site was made as health chiefs prepare to “transition” services from Lydney and the Dilke to the new hospital at Cinderford.

No announcement has yet been made about any sale of the Dilke site.