What happens next?
Heanor Grammar School Action Group have taken on a big challenge on your behalf. We want you to support us and join us.
We need the support of the local community, and those further afield – such as alumni of the school and of Heanor - who care about this important historic building and all it stands for.
The ACV status
The sale of the site by Derby College was delayed because the local community managed to get the site designated as an Asset of Community Value or ACV.
The ACV status only secured a delay in the sale until the middle of October. This period is now over.
HGSAG used the time during the ACV to:-
do some thorough research into what people wanted from the site.
develop links with a number of stakeholders who are crucial to the development of the site.
develop the webite and social media presence.
share information with key stakeholders including Amber Valley Borough Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, Heanor and Loscoe Town Council, Derby College, Derbyshire County Council, and Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust.
start to develop a business plan for running the site in a way that will cover its running costs.
develop dialogue with Derbyshire Historic Builidngs Trust to secure funding for a feasibility study to show how th site can be used in the future.
The Business Plan will be an essential tool both for planning the redevelopment and for securing finance.
What has happened?
In October 2015 Derby College decided to sell the site. Although the action group made a realistic bid (taking into account the condition and needs of the building), we have been told that we are not the preferred bidder. At the moment they will not announce who the preferred bidder is (this is the person or organisation that they have decided to sell the site to). The Action Group have now been informed but they have asked us to maintain commercial confidentiality at present.
If the preferred bidder is an organisation like a charity, they can start to raise the funds from various heritage trusts that will be needed to restore it.
If they are not, then these funds are not available to a private company.
During our work in the period of the ACV, we have had estimates that there will be an immediate repair bill of £300,000 approximately - and between £3 and 5 million to fully restore the building.
So what now..?
Our work is not over!
We will continue to work persistently with all the stakeholders (the local community, local authorities, any commercial interests and the heritage organisations) to try and ensure that any development on the site respects the following:-
The needs and wishes of the local community
The historical and architectural value of the main building
The regeneration needs of Heanor Town centre
We can do these things through public campaigns and lobbying and through engaging with the local planning process.