TWO empty historic properties which are up for sale should be kept for community use, says Malvern Civic Society.

The society wants to have the Grange in Grange Road and the old hospital in Lansdowne Crescent listed as Assets of Community Value under the Localism Act. This would give community groups a six-month opportunity to put together bids to buy the buildings.

The Grange has been put up for sale by Malvern Hills District Council with a guide price of £350,000. The council, which is handling the sale itself, has heard from a number of interested parties is looking for final offers by the end of April.

The former hospital is owned by the NHS and is up for sale at £675,000. It was opened in 1911 and remained the town's hospital until the new hospital in Worcester Road opened.

Society chairman Clive Hooper said: “These two properties have been highlighted as being in need of urgent protection for continuing community use, and we consider that they both fulfil the criteria for listing.”

The Grange, which was built in about 1830, was until recently it was the home of Age UK and the Citizens Advice Bureau. The society says it could be used as a visitor centre for the town, a meeting place for community groups or a place to display art or local artefacts.

The hospital, which was donated tom,the town by philanthropist C W Dyson Perrins could find another use as a therapy centre to complement health provision at the new hospital, says the society.