Works planned to protect dilapidated Berwick building from further damage

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Steel boarding is being proposed at the former Berwick Community Centre to prevent further break-ins.

Northumberland County Council has submitted an application seeking listed building consent for the works at the town’s former grammar school.

It is also proposed to remove dry rot which threatens the fabric of the Grade II-listed building on Palace Street East.

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A report accompanying the application states: ‘The installation of the permasteel provides a strong deterrent against break ins, which unfortunately have previously occurred. Previous break ins have caused damage to some of the original features within the building.”

Berwick Community Centre.Berwick Community Centre.
Berwick Community Centre.

The permasteel can be fitted without needing to access the interior of the building and is can be altered to fit the window/doors to which it is attached.

“Whilst the permasteel does have a visual impact on the appearance of the property, it provides an effective deterrent against further damage and preserves the existing installations,’ the report states.

It acknowledges the dry rot needs to be addressed ‘to prevent the spread of the infestation within the building’.

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‘The dry rot will ultimately compromise the integrity of the timbers and in turn could cause further damage to the building,’ the report states.

Damage caused by thieves at the former Berwick Community Centre in late 2018.Damage caused by thieves at the former Berwick Community Centre in late 2018.
Damage caused by thieves at the former Berwick Community Centre in late 2018.

The building dates back to 1754 and was used as a school between 1860 and 1939.

After the Second World War it served as a Youth and Community Centre and Northumberland Adult Learning Service until the county council closed its doors in August 2015.

The building was extensively damaged by thieves in late 2018.

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