Call for action at abandoned former Burnley school after roof collapses

Coun. Andy Fewings in front of the collapsed roof at the former Wood Top School in Burnley which has been empty for 18 years.
Coun. Andy Fewings in front of the collapsed roof at the former Wood Top School in Burnley which has been empty for 18 years.
Share this article

A councillor is calling for action to be taken at a former Burnley school which he claims has become an eyesore.

Coun. Andy Fewings, who made history at last year's May elections when he became Burnley's first elected councillor for the Green Party, spoke out after the roof of the former Wood Top School recently collapsed.

Wood Top School in Burnley has been closed down since the Year 2000.

Wood Top School in Burnley has been closed down since the Year 2000.

He said: "The Wood Top School is a beautiful listed building which has been left to rot.

"However, given the roof has now collapsed I hope we can find a way to salvage as much as we can of the old character of the building in a modern new project.

"I am not impressed with the current situation and residents should not be allowed to suffer with this eyesore any longer.

"I have urged the council to take action soon as it is bringing down the area and causing misery for residents."

Coun. Fewings would like to see the building in Accrington Road used to create an affordable housing project or community building built to the highest energy efficiency standards incorporating the old stone of the current structure.

He added: "If we hadn’t lost a decade, a community centre for the residents or artist studios would have been a good way to keep the building occupied."

The school closed down in 2000 and was bought by Burnley Council in 2009 for around £300,000.

A grade two listed building the school was founded in 1866 but the deathknell sounded for it after falling pupil numbers, a critical Ofsted report and an old Victorian building needing an estimated £300,000 worth of repairs, led to Lancashire County Council closing the doors for good.

It has fallen into further disrepair since its closure, with regular vandalism by yobs in and outside the building, lead stolen off the roof, brickwork damaged and damp problems.

The single-storey premises has three large open-plan classrooms, an assembly hall, a research room, staff room, kitchen, toilets, and a large playground and grassy area at the back of the building.

On its closure after 134 years, Wood Top had just 61 pupils, 42 of whom were forced to move on to other infants' schools, with the remainder leaving for primary school and staff had to move on and find new jobs.

In 1892 the school recorded an amazing figure of 410 pupils.