BY CHRISTINA WHITE
— • • THE R)RstER Catholic semi
nary at Upholland, Lancashire, has been sold to a property developer for £4 million.
St Joseph's College has been purchased by Anglo International Upholland Ltd. The developer, based in the Isle of Man, has submitted plans to turn the site into a hotel, conference centre and health and leisure corn
plex. The former seminary, a listed building, will be refurbished. A delayed completion clause means the Archdiocese of Liverpool will not realise the income for the site until next year.
A spokesman for the archdiocese said the closure of the seminary had been greeted with "great sadness" by the people of Liverpool, but "many people saw it as inevitable because of the size of the building and the amount of work that needed doing".
After the seminary closed in the 1980s, the complex was used as a conference centre and retirement home for priests. Initial plans by the archdiocese to develop part of the site for housing — using the income to refurbish the college building as a religious conference centre — faltered after local residents opposed the scheme. In 1999, Archbishop Kelly announced that the college would close.
"Changes in the training of priests in 1975 and the closure of the school in 1987 rendered the greater part of these buildings surplus to their historic purpose. An important chapter in their history ended," he said.
The archdiocese this week welcomed the conservation of the site,