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New business and community space in derelict school in Derbyshire town

A local Derbyshire council has taken ownership of a derelict former school building that has fallen into disrepair and plans to turn it into a community space. Amber Valley Borough Council announced its plans for the former Heanor Grammar School, stating that it is moving forward with its ideas.

The council acquired the site in support of its Future High Streets project, which has secured £ 8.6m of government funding, as part of an overall £ 17.8m town center regeneration program. The future of the former school, in Mundy Street, Heanor, which was previously owned by Derby firm Vale Property Limited, has been uncertain for a number of years with local residents growing increasingly concerned as the building deteriorated.

Heanor Grammar School operated at the site from 1912 until 1976, at which point it became an annex of South East Derbyshire College before being taken over by Derby College in 2010.

Read more: All the latest stories from across Heanor

The council now plans to see the Grade-II listed building transformed into a mixed-use development site, with spaces for work and business, as well as community facilities. With the time sensitive nature of the redevelopment, the council has already appointed an architect and has started the process to source a contractor for the build.

Councilor Tony Harper, Amber Valley’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce the acquisition of the former grammar school site.

The derelict site will be redeveloped thanks to new Government funding.

“I’m also pleased that we’ve been able to hit the ground running, by appointing the architect and commencing the procurement of the principal contractor, so that we can meet what are very challenging deadlines.

“The council is fully aware of how important the building is to the local community and also Heanor’s heritage, and we will now be in a position to preserve and re-purpose it for future generations.”

A consultation process is expected to take place in the coming months to help shape the development of the building, with members of the community being encouraged to share their views on the former school site.

Previous plans by the former owner of the building initially detailed 24 apartments, with a further nine apartments in the former science block and 19 homes in the school grounds. These plans were rejected in 2018.

The regeneration of the grammar school is one of three strands of planned investment for Heanor – the other two being the redevelopment of Heanor Market Place and the building of affordable homes in the town center.

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