The King Edward VII convalescent home at Osborne House.
NEW life could be breathed into an unused quarter of Osborne House.
The King Edward VII convalescent home, which has been closed since 2000 because of severe restrictions on usage through the Osborne Estates Act, could be reopened if a bill becomes law.
The House of Commons passed the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill earlier this month, and if it successfully gets through the House of Lords and becomes law, the Osborne Estate Acts of 1902 and 1914 will be relaxed.
The acts ensured the home could only be used by servicemen and women, their families and senior civil servants. But its doors were closed because of the limited client base and the cost of bringing it up to modern standards.
Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner spoke to parliament about Osborne House — calling it 'the jewel in the Island’s crown’ — and the restrictions on it, ahead of the bill being passed.
Afterwards, he said: "This is significant progress towards a new future for this important part of Osborne House. There are still a number of stages to go through before the bill becomes law, but at present I don’t anticipate any problems.
"The unused parts of the house are currently costing English Heritage around £60,000 a year to maintain, so as well as breathing new life into this important visitor attraction, that money will be better used."
Mark Pemberton, director of national collections at English Heritage, said: "Although it still needs the support of the House of Lords and royal assent, this is a significant milestone and we are enormously grateful to Andrew for his support in gaining this amendment.
"Over many years, Andrew has worked with English Heritage to find a new use for the former convalescent home, which is impossible without the amendment of the act."