Former Burnley school is sold for £65,000

SOLD: The former Healey Wood School (S)
SOLD: The former Healey Wood School (S)

A LANDMARK former school has been sold at auction for £65,000.

The former Healey Wood School, in Healey Wood Road, closed as a school in 2002 and was last in public use in 2009 when Burnley Community Alliance refurbished it using a £25,000 grant.

Now the building has been bought at auction by an unknown buyer, but Healey Wood Community Association has pleaded for it to be kept in community use.

The community group ran social activities, residents’ meetings and youth groups at the building until December 2009.

The group’s treasurer Martyn Hurt said he would like to see the new owners allow at least some of the building to be put to community use.

He said: “Burnley Community Alliance, which owned the building, reopened it last June and used it for training but not for the community.

“Had it not been for the kindness of Rosehill Baptist Church, we would have had nowhere to run our popular youth group from.

“Shortly after, the Community Alliance closed its doors and Lancashire County Council took possession of the building and decided to put it up for auction. We did ask the county council if it would consider allowing us time to apply for funding to buy the school so it could remain as a community building, but it refused.

“Unfortunately, the county council was purely looking at the financial side of things, not the wider picture.

“It is a shame a building that has been at the heart of the community for so many years may now be lost to the public.

“We are not giving up though, and are looking at ways to provide the people of Healey Wood with their own facility and a temporary solution in the short term.”

Built in 1883, the tiny school was threatened with closure a number of times in its history, including in 1994 when it had just 25 pupils. That number was a far cry from its early days when in 1903 it had 402 pupils.