THE demolition work at the old Malvern Community Hospital which started this week, as reported on page 11, truly marks the end of an era.

For many it will be a sad occasion, because the loss of a historic building is never something to celebrate.

However, the hospital building had remained empty for so many years simply because no-one could come up with a viable scheme to bring it back into use.

That is not the way to conserve our heritage, unless we want to turn the town into a museum of ruins, which would be good for no-one at all.

No-one in their right mind would seriously suggest demolishing the town’s most historic monuments, such at the Priory or the Abbey Gateway.

But not all old buildings in the town are as special as those two examples, and in any case the issue was lost when Malvern Hills District Council granted planning permission to Montpelier Land Ltd over a year ago.

Change is sometimes inevitable, as we see on page three this week, when we report on the worries about empty shops in the town centre.

Coming on top of the closure of historic businesses such as Burley’s and Brays, it would be easy to fear that the centre of Malvern is fatally afflicted.

It is regrettable that some businesses felt unable to continue, but pleasing to report that some of these vacancies are set to be occupied by new businesses.

And it is reassuring that the district council seems to be taking the issue seriously, and is working on a vision for the town’s centres to take Malvern forward into the future.