Amber Valley Borough Council has taken ownership of the former Heanor Grammar School and has commenced with developing proposals for returning the building to its former glory.
The council has 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 centre regeneration programme.
The future of the former school, in Mundy Street, Heanor, which was previously owned by Derby firm Vale Property Limited, has been a subject of discussion for a number of years, with local residents growing increasingly concerned as the building visibly deteriorated.
Having now secured the Grade II-listed building for redevelopment, Amber Valley Borough Council now plans to see it restored and repurposed as a mixed-use development, with some work and business space, as well as community facilities for local residents to use.
The council has moved quickly to appoint an architect who is experienced in sensitive historic buildings and has commenced the process to appoint the principal contractor to move the project forward quickly due to tight deadlines.
Councillor Tony Harper, Amber Valley’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “It is with huge pleasure that we are able to announce the acquisition of the former grammar school site.
“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.”
Relevant partners and members of the community will be invited to help shape the overall development through a planned consultation process.
Previous plans by the former owner to turn the listed building into 24 apartments, a with a further nine apartments in the former science block and 19 homes in the school grounds, were turned down in 2018.
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.
Amber Valley’s share of the Government’s Future High Street Fund has enabled the council to finally kickstart investment in the area and make Heanor a better place to live, work, socialise and shop.
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 centre.
For further information about the Future High Street Fund projects, email firstname.lastname@example.org.