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.”