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Another Chance To View Richmond’s Old Grammar School
Wednesday - September 5, 2018
If you missed it in August there is a second chance to see inside Richmond’s Old Grammar School on Thursday 13 September.

The school will be open to visitors from 10am – 7pm as part of National Heritage Open Days. Also known to many as Lower School and by some affectionately as ‘TOGS’, by whatever name, this is a much-loved Richmond building that is urgently in need of restoration.

Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust, which restored and runs The Station, is currently working towards that goal through a Round One Heritage Lottery Grant and a further grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund. The Trustees are planning to reopen The Old Grammar School as a community venue supported by commercial enterprise - a ‘village hall’ for Richmond! 

The Trust has now raised £135,000 towards their revised goal of £550,000 which now must be reached a month sooner than anticipated, brought forward to next February. This is in readiness for the application for a Second Round Heritage Lottery grant of £1.8 million. The Lottery will make a decision next summer and, if successful, work will start later in the year on the renovation and conversion of the building into community offices and facilities supported by income from a beautiful function room, an independent hostel and café, that will also be open to the public.

On Thursday 13th September, from 10am – 7pm, members of the RBPT  team will be opening up the school, which is currently owned by Richmondshire District Council, for anyone who is interested to take a peak inside.

This is a wonderful opportunity for former Lower School and Grammar School pupils to visit their alma mater, hear ideas for the building’s future and see the architect’s plans. RBPT members would also like to hear ideas for the sorts of activities the public would like to take place in the school and invite former pupils to share their memories of their schooldays.

Leader of The Old Grammar School Project, James Gravenor is positive about the work the Trust is undertaking, “The Old Grammar School Team is making great progress towards submitting full plans and costs to the Heritage Lottery Fund next February. We have firmed up our ideas for the use of the Community Hub but we are still seeking suggestions from groups and individuals as to what activities should take place in this "Village Hall" for Richmond Town. We want to see a wide range of activities for all age groups so come along to our open day to see what is planned and to give us your views.”

Fellow Trustee, Marcia McLuckie added, “We held an open day in August, which was very successful. Around 300 people attended and gave useful feedback about our plans and what they would see the building used for. We were also given a number of donations towards the project, which raised a further £400 towards our target. The visitors were really glad of the opportunity to see inside the building”.

The Old Grammar school is open for visitors on Thursday 13th September, 10am – 7pm. Admission is free and tasty samples of food created by the new Head Chef of thecafe@thestation, Gareth Bottomley, will be available to try. RBPT members will be on hand to talk about the project and to hear the views of the public.

Entrance is from Station Road. Please follow the arrows and enter by the side door into the Main Hall – Lower School pupils will remember this as where they queued for lunch! Visitors will be greeted at the door and shown the Hall and some of the rest of the building. Regrettably there is only partial wheelchair access. When the building is restored it will be fully accessible.

Further information on The Old Grammar School Project may be found at http://www.richmondshirebpt.co.uk – ‘new projects’ tab. Please email info@richmondoldgrammarschool.co.uk if you have any queries about the opening on 13 September.

Photo: Richmond Old Grammar School ©Guy Carpenter

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