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National concern for Cottingham’s historic school

News that a Victorian school in the East Yorkshire village of Cottingham is set to close this summer without formal plans in place for the building's future use has drawn criticism from the Victorian Society, the national charity campaigning for the Victorian and Edwardian historic environment.

Designed by John Bilson in 1892, Hallgate Junior School stands in the Cottingham Conservation Area and contributes to the setting of the Grade I-listed St Mary's Church. Plans to close the school and amalgamate it with the local Infant School led local residents to form the Hallgate Old School Preservation Association, calling for a community use for the building which has served the village of Cottingham for well over a century. Yet, two years after the closure was announced, East Riding Council still has not come to a decision about the future use of the site. Now, with the school closing in July of this year, time is running out.

'It's vital that plans are put in place for the future of Hallgate School,' said Alex Baldwin, Conservation Adviser of the Victorian Society. ‘It was built to be used and enjoyed, and that really is the best way of looking after it. An attractive part of Cottingham's heritage, the school would lend itself to a community use. This would help preserve its historic character, as government guidance on buildings in conservation areas requires.'

She continued: ‘Without an agreed use, buildings like Hallgate Junior School can quickly fall into disrepair. Local people clearly care about the future of their building. We urge East Riding Council to work with them so that the school can remain at the heart of its community for many years to come.'

Tuesday 18 March, 2008

More recent item: Charity urges Nottingham residents to go for a swim
Earlier item: Campaign hots up for Josephine Butler House

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