A derelict building next to a school has been transformed into a community centre that can be used by young and old.
Clayton Church of England Primary School, in Clayton, Bradford, has spent the best part of a year fixing up a former caretaker’s bungalow on school grounds.
The building, which has been empty for at least five years, is now a fitted out community centre, and the school is in discussions with various groups to make sure the building becomes an important part of Clayton life.
Once the school decided it wanted to make something of the building, it set about fundraising.
A £10,000 lottery grant, as well as help from Participate UK, a charity that involves businesses such as Yorkshire Building Society, Provident Financial and Sovereign Health Care, and school fundraisers helped make their idea a reality.
There was also help from volunteers from the Clayton community.
Now the bungalow is ready for use, and includes a kitchen, meeting room, office and a room for children to play.
The area outside the building has also been totally transformed, with a new garden, planting beds and “minibeast hotel” for children to enjoy just in time for spring.
It was officially opened yesterday by Jane Bingham, a grandparent who helped come up with the idea for the bungalow.
The school’s head teacher Jo Kurasinski said: “The opening today was brilliant and we’re now thinking about what we can use it for.
“Everyone is really excited about what we can do with it in the future.
“It has taken us just over a year to get it done.
“It would have cost us a lot if we’d just let the building get into a state of disrepair and had to bulldoze it.
“Schools are always looking for extra space and we’ve got this here.
“It won’t just help with our pupils – it will be good for children from other schools, community groups could use it for meetings and events, the police could use it for surgeries.”
She says other ideas for the building’s use could include parents’ coffee mornings and youth projects that could help reduce rates of anti social behaviour in Clayton.