A derelict special school in Shipley is one step closer to finding a second life as a community environmental hub.
The former Heaton Royds School, on Redburn Drive, closed since 2010, was one of the first buildings to be granted “community asset” status last year. The Bradford Community Environmental Project successfully applied for the designation, which means community groups need to be consulted before a building or asset is put on the market.
The group hopes to eventually buy the building, turning it into an environmental centre to “inspire, demonstrate and enable sustainable lifestyle behaviours.” They were recently awarded a grant of £10,000 to push ahead with their plans.
In addition to the BCEP, the plan is for a number of environmental groups to use the building, including the charity Bradford Environmental Action Trust, volunteer group Bradford Re-Paint and Scrap Magic craft group, all of which have shown interest in moving to the site.
The building would also be used for training, education and community use. The Social Investment Business Group has given £10,000 to the BCEP to carry out a “pre-feasibility study” of the building. The money has been used for staff training and to carry out a consultation with local residents over the site’s future. Of those who responded, 94 per cent said they supported plans to turn the building into an environmental hub. The rest of the grant will be used to carry out a condition survey, valuation and structural survey of the building.
Bradford Council’s Environment and Waste Management scrutiny committee will hear an update on the plans at a meeting tomorrow.
The school was closed in 2010 when the Council deemed it unsuitable for the needs of its pupils, many of whom had mobility problems. Last May the Government’s Education Funding Agency gave permission for the council to dispose of the site, as they had no plans to open a new school there. Tomorrow’s meeting, at City Hall will hear updates on a number of other environmental projects.The meeting starts at 5.30pm.