Keld school in upper Swaledale has been saved as a living heritage asset for the next generation by a consortium of funders including the Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust (RBPT).
The school closed in the 1970s and was used for many years as a base for visiting Church youth groups and was later used as a storeroom. Keld’s damp and cool weather took its toll on the buildings condition and by the time restoration works commenced in 2021 the building was in a desperate state of repair.
That is now in the past as Keld School has been saved, supported in part by a grant of £18,000 provided by Richmondshire Building Presentation Trust (RBPT). RBPT is a locally based heritage restoration charity and was named to allow for the future adoption, restoration and management of buildings at risk in Richmondshire - Keld School is one such building.
The school is operated by Keld Resource Centre, which is run on a voluntary basis. The school has now reopened after building and restoration works were completed and features a living heritage exhibition. Restoration works had to be undertaken carefully as the building is one of several listed for their group value.
The Rev. David Wood, Chair of Keld Resource Centre said, “this work was necessary to halt the long-term decline of an important heritage asset and make it available as a living heritage centre” he added “we are grateful to the Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust for their support which along with grants from Richmondshire District Council and the United Reformed Church Yorkshire and Northern Synods has made this possible”.
John Harris, Chair of Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust, added “we are delighted to see the positive impact our Small Grants Fund can have on projects such as these; restoring and preserving heritage buildings in Richmondshire for generations to come”.
The grant awarded to the Keld Resource Centre follows a £7,000 grant awarded to the Richmondshire Museum in December 2020, under RBPT’s Small Grants Fund.