What next for Gower St?

What next for Gower St?

Telford & Wrekin Council, St Georges & Priorslee Parish Council and the Gower Heritage & Enterprise Foundation are exploring possible new avenues to secure the future of the former Gower Street School.

The building was left to the community by the Gower family but in recent years has fallen into a state of disrepair.

However, as part of a campaign to save it from demolition, Grade II listed status for the building was securedin May 2014.

Since then, members of the community have worked hard to clear the building and raise funds for its restoration. Volunteers have thus far committed an estimated 12,000 hours to the project and have installed a new play area and regularly hold community events within thev grounds of the old school.

Various options have been explored around securing the future of the building, including a recent application to the West Midlands Heritage Lottery Fund.

Although the lottery fund decided not to make an award, decisions are now being taken about possible next steps to bring the building back into community use.

Robert Grice, Chair of Trustees for the charity, said “We are determined to continue our efforts to bring this unique and beautiful building back into use for the community and as a service hub.

“We have well developed plans and we will be increasing our efforts to secure business sponsorship and in-kind support over the next few months to add to the funding Telford & Wrekin Council has already provided.

“We also have other grant funds to apply to and we will continue fund raising. We have also held a productive and constructive meeting with St Georges & Priorslee Parish Council and Telford & Wrekin Council.”

Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Commercial Services and Economic Development, said: “We are continuing to look at all possible options to secure a viable and sustainable future for the building and we will leave no stone unturned in terms of securing the necessary funding to restore it.”

Councillor Richard Overton, chairman of St Georges & Priorslee Parish Council, said: “We appreciate the great work that the Gower Foundation and volunteers has done and we look forward to exploring more options in the near future to secure the future of the building.”

9 thoughts on “What next for Gower St?

  • March 19, 2019 at 7:44 pm
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    should keep the building, referb it and let co-op use one half and and use the other half as a community centre. The Gower Foundation have done little with it, time to put it to good use.

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  • March 19, 2019 at 7:51 pm
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    Maybe open it as special needs/ additional needs school. Some of our kids can’t cope in mainstream schooling or staff fail to provide support and understanding.

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  • March 19, 2019 at 8:03 pm
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    Surely that would have been a much better location for the coop than the elephant and castle

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  • March 22, 2019 at 7:00 pm
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    Didn’t the council spend £650k on this instead of selling it back in 2015?
    Just waiting to see the mess they make with the New College purchase in Wellington.

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  • March 23, 2019 at 7:52 am
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    You can’t just retain a building – irrespective if its considered significance – if that building isn’t in use and there is no sustainable plan to take it forward. The original plan to revitalise the Gower was flawed & back to front. Rather than scope & cost options to then assess the affordability & practicality of each option, TWC allocated a funding line with no plan of how it would be used. The result – hiatus.

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  • November 6, 2019 at 11:31 am
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    It is the building that was left to the community by the Gower family…It was never intended to be left to the community for the council to move their rooms there. It was also never left to the community so that it could be knocked down. While I understand that in the council having their premises there it would, to a certain extent, safeguard the future of the Gower. The question must be asked what effect consequently this move would have upon the public support for the Gower, as it might discourage some people from using it. I have observed that in this area when some buildings are sold off for building flats or housing, that it doesn’t take many years for the building to lose it’s historical features, or fall into dis-repair..Some might even argue that this was almost by design?..However, considering the general decline in public care for architecturally/historically important buildings in our area, the Gower is significant because the residents do care and that makes it all the more important to save it as it was intended. It should be for use by the community, whether it be for Antiques/Arts & crafts/ Cafe/Music/Theatre/Concerts/Cinema, the list is endless…
    When the new development of properties went up on New Street a several years ago, we lost our public toilets. The council I was told at the time only sold off St. Georges car park and toilets to be developed for housing with the agreement that the building company built more toilets to replace those that were demolished. This was never completed, and I was informed that the building company couldn’t afford to replace them after they had completed their development. My question would be, was this same company allowed to develop further sites before they completed the agreement to build toilets on their previous job.
    The reason for this aside I will now make clear..The Gower has toilets, these are public toilets..and should remain there for the use of the community. The council and retrospectively the building company have an element of responsibility here to ensure these toilets are kept…The building company, could be asked to help out with the work needed for the Gower public toilets, because of the debt they owe to the community and their promise/agreement to the council.

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