A new start at the old school
Aided by a first-round grant from the Heritage Enterprise Lottery Fund and from the Architectural Heritage Fund, we are currently working on plans to restore and re-purpose this wonderful, iconic building, which sits across the river from The Station.
The Trust is working towards saving the School to be used as a sustainable ‘Community Hub’, providing community facilities with complementary commercial use to ensure its future viability.
Donations to The Old Grammar School project
Neglect or revival?
The old grammar school has served the people of Richmond well. The group of buildings date from 1850. They were home to the boys’ grammar school until 1971, when they became the Lower School, where boys and girls spent Year Seven before moving to the main site on Darlington Road.
Lower School closed 7-years ago. Since then, the Old Grammar School buildings have remained virtually empty and are becoming dilapidated. They are unloved; what will happen if we do not act to save them?
Help save the building for Richmond.
Too good to lose
It’s not too late. Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust has a plan to save the buildings and put them to good use again. Read on for more details, and to find out how you can help.
If we don’t do it now, who will?
Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust saved the old station building and has run The Station successfully since 2007.
Aided by a first-round grant from the Heritage Lottery Enterprise Fund and from the Architectural Heritage Fund, we are working on plans to restore the old grammar school buildings.
The aim is to create a community hub, with a mix of community facilities, accommodation for local voluntary organisations, and complementary commercial use. Richmondshire District Council, which owns the building, supports the project.
We did it for the old station, we can do it for the old school.
It all adds up
The Old Grammar School and The Station, in the same management, can complement one another’s facilities and each promote the other. Both buildings, and Mercury Bridge which links them, were designed by G T Andrews.
The Old Grammar School, with St Mary’s church across Station Road, frames the entrance to Richmond and looks down over its own grounds to the Batts. Like The Station, its facilities will be available to visitors as well as local people.
The Old Grammar School will be another link in the chain of Richmond’s visitor attractions.
A community asset
What might you find in The Old Grammar School when it opens? Our provisional plans include:
- A venue for events and celebrations – weddings, birthdays, anniversaries
- A private bar / a small music venue
- A meeting room for clubs and societies
- A large multi-purpose hall for dance, games and other activities
- A café, offering catering for events
- Offices for local voluntary organisations
- A hostel for Coast-to-Coast walkers
- A second-hand bookshop
Commercial activities will provide an income to cover the running costs of the building, so it is sustainable in the long term. The mix of facilities will work together – people will come for one thing and stay for another.
These uses aren’t set in stone, so if you have ideas we would like to hear from you.
Lower School was at the heart of the community, let’s put it back there.
For the community, by the community
If all our plans prove to be viable we must apply for a second grant from the HLF to carry out the restoration work, but we still need to raise a further £450,000. Some of this will hopefully come from successful grant applications, but these will not cover the entire sum and we need the involvement of you and the rest of the community to find the balance.
How You Can Help…
We can’t do this without your support, so please:
- Become a Friend of the RBPT
- Sign up as a volunteer to help in our fund-raising events
- On-line payments coming soon
- Donate using our downloadable leaflet
- See your name in permanent ‘chalk’ on our Blackboard of Fame (donations* of £500+)
- Think about your business, club, or society becoming a corporate sponsor contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how you can help
- Attend one of our fund-raising events
- Organise a fund-raising event
- When the Old Grammar School opens, we will need volunteers to help to run it – it’s not too early to put your name forward
- TELL YOUR OLD SCHOOL MATES AND TEACHERS AND ASK THEM TO HELP
£450,000 cannot be a ‘pipe-dream’, but must be a reality to help us move this project forward. See how things are going on our fund-raising monitor on this site and at The Station.
You can also help by telling us your stories of the Old Grammar School and Lower School, which may be used in information boards when the building is open.
Please let us know if you would prefer a refund in the event the project does not proceed.
General donations towards the work of the Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust are also welcome.
*If for any reason the Old Grammar School Project does not go ahead, donations made specifically for the school will be refunded. If you do not require a refund, your donation will be used by the RBPT on current and future Projects.
Please help us to save, restore and repurpose this iconic Richmond building.
the Old Grammar School history