Thursday, July 29, 2021

News: New future for demolition-threatened Rotherham grammar school building

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Months after plans were submitted to knock it down, new plans have now gone in to save and reuse a historic part of Maltby Old Grammar School.

Rothbiz reported in April that the iconic clock tower, which was saved from demolition when the academy trust revamped the site in 2013, was set to be knocked down.

In those plans, the Trust said that: "The Grammar School is now in an “abandoned” state due to anti-social behaviour, trespass and illegal break ins causing damage to the building internally and externally." It added that the damage to the block, which dates from 1932 but is not a listed building, "is extensive and dangerous."

However, with the hope of new funding, a new planning application has been submitted detailing how the building could be saved.

Rotherham Council is bidding to the Government's Levelling Up fund for a £23m project to kickstart the leisure and visitor economy. It includes £4.5m of Government funding in the £6.3m redevelopment of the former Maltby Grammar School to create an incubator space for training, apprenticeships, and start up support in the leisure and hospitality sectors.

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Plans from Maltby Academy show a sixth form centre and a community and enterprise centre.

The plans, drawn up by Derek Cox Architects, state: "The Maltby Learning Trust is seeking planning permission to remodel the old Grammar School Building on the Maltby Academy site. This would involve partial demolition of the single storey wings on the North side of the building adjacent to the quadrangle at the centre of the Academy site.

"The remainder of this building will be re-developed with planned works consisting of overhaul of the roof, restoration of the clock tower, installation of new aluminium windows and doors, repairs to rain water goods, making good brickwork, introduction of a partially glazed roof over the internal courtyard, new M & E services throughout and complete internal refresh.

"This proposal will retain the substantial part of the complex and repurpose the building for mixed use comprising a sixth form centre, accommodation to support acquiring skills and supporting apprenticeships, enterprise and new businesses and provide spaces for community use to support lifelong learning, group meetings and exhibitions.

"The project involves refurbishing the structural fabric of the buildings, reconfiguring the spaces and creation of a ‘heart space’ that would be the focal point of the complex.

"It is recognised that this group of buildings are of historic importance to the Local Community Heritage Asset and provide a catalyst for redefining and reshaping the town centre through creating a civic hub around the existing community services, leisure centre and the new community orientated facility."

David Sutton, CEO of Maltby Learning Trust, said: “Hopefully through retaining the buildings links with Maltby Academy and sharing the facilities and expertise available, young people of Maltby and the broader community can be assisted in the move to employment and apprenticeships and the Trust can encourage start-up initiatives, provide guidance and create new work experience opportunities.

“The Trust is committed to engaging with a number of local community groups, the Town Council and Local Authority to try to access specific funding streams designed to upgrade old buildings, invest in community regeneration and crime reduction and bring safe community spaces into Town Centres.”

Maltby Learning Trust website

Images: Maltby Learning Trust

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