Wooler community urged to put ideas forward for redevelopment of former school site

Wooler residents have been urged to have their say on the future of the town’s former first school site.
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The site has been disused since the first school moved to a shared site with Glendale Middle School on Brewery Road in 2015.

Wooler Parish Council has aspirations to see the site brought back into use for the wider community’s benefit and is keen to get a business plan drawn up.

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Initial discussions have been held with the Glendale Gateway Trust, although the land remains in the ownership of Northumberland County Council.

Wooler burial ground with the former first school beyond.Wooler burial ground with the former first school beyond.
Wooler burial ground with the former first school beyond.

Cllr Mark Mather, parish council chairman, said: “It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity that we need to get right so we will look at all options to see if we can make it a true community site.

“If anyone in the community has an idea what the first school could be used for then get in touch. We want viable options which would benefit the community going forward. That could be business, community or charitable.

"Once we’ve got some ideas in we will sit down and talk through them to see which ones we want to consider further. We’ve got probably six months to a year to consider this process but I think it’s important we start it now.”

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The parish council has been pressing for part of the site to be allocated for an extension of the cemetery with the support of the Parochial Church Council (PCC).

The issue was discussed at a recent meeting with county council officers which left parish councillors encouraged that the proposed cemetery section of the site could be transferred into its ownership.

The parish council is now awaiting a written response before the PCC progresses its plans.

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“It’s positive progress,” said Cllr Mather. “It’s not 100% but they are at the table and we are heading in the same direction.”

The county council has previously considered the wider site suitable for housing but no firm proposals have been forthcoming.

Other suggested uses for the site have included residential elderly care bungalows and a crematorium.

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Discussions continue over future of former school site in Wooler

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