Future of Burnley landmark building Woodtop School in doubt after funding for restoration project fails
The future of a landmark building in Burnley looks in doubt after funding for a scheme to breathe new life into it fell through.
Burnley Council had been working in partnership with the Calico Group on a project to restore the former Woodtop School in Accrington Road.
Plans were on the cards to convert the former Grade Two listed into high quality housing while preserving the building’s historic features.
And a bid for £200,000 by the two organisations to Homes England was approved and plans were being made to involve local people in both the design process and the scheme itself as it is developed. But a further bid to the National Lottery English Heritage Fund has not been successful.
Since the Accrington Road school closed in 2000 the building has fallen into disrepair and parts of the roof have fallen in.
A Burnley Council spokesman said: "It's disappointing that the original scheme proved unviable, but we continue to work with Calico to look into other proposals for the site that would benefit the wider community."
Wendy Malone, Director of Property for the Calico Group, said, "We supported the council to explore options for the old Woodtop School, but sadly, funding has not been awarded to restore the building. It's a shame that it appears to be beyond saving at this stage, but we would welcome and support any project that regenerates the area for the benefit of the community."
In 1985 children from the school were chosen to greet Prince Charles and Princess Diana at Rosegrove Station.
Falling pupil numbers, a critical Ofsted report and an old Victorian building, which needed £340,000 to bring it up to scratch, led to members of Lancashire County Council's Schools and General Purposes Sub-committee agreeing to the closure of the school.
At the time of its closure the school had 61 children and 42 of these were moved to another infant school while the remainder went on to primary schools.
At the turn of the century Wood Top changed from a primary to an infant school. After the 1945 Education Act the school adopted state-aided status, under which the church appointed four of the six school managers. The school then became state-controlled with the education authority appointing four managers.