Club launched to boost Richmond Old Grammar School restoration appeal

James Gravenor in the Old Grammar School. Photo: Guy Carpenter.

A Silver Star Club has been launched to boost initiatives to raise £800,000 towards the restoration and repurposing of Richmond’s Old Grammar School.

Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust (RBPT) is proposing to raise about £200,000 in loans to help finance the project.

In order to repay the loans, they are looking for a funding stream of £20,000 a year over ten years.

To help with this, people are invited to join the Silver Star Club.

In addition to contributing to a great cause of preserving a wonderful building for Richmond and the surrounding area, members will also receive annual benefits.

These include a welcome pack of local goodies; an annual benefactors’ dinner to be held initially at The Station and later in the School when it opens; an annual talk; discounts from some of The Station’s tenants and in the newly refurbished Café/Bar and other discounts once the school is opened.

Aided by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and the Architectural Heritage Fund, trustees of RBPT and volunteers have been working to reopen the building as a new community hub for Richmond supported by commercial activities.

To fulfil their aims the trust must raise £800,000 to match their application for Lottery funding of £1.8 million.

If successful, the restoration and repurposing work will start late 2019.

A significant sum in donations and pledges has already been raised, but there is still some way to go. They need the help of the public to achieve their ambitions for the building and for Richmond.

James Gravenor, who is leading the Project, is appreciative of the financial support received so far.

“We are very grateful to those generous people who have given us substantial donations. However, we will still have a funding gap which we will need to bridge with loans.

“Regular small contributions of £10 a month hopefully for 10 years will enable us to repay these loans.”

Once the school is restored there will be office and hot desking facilities at charity rates for community hire; a community hall giving a village hall facility in town; a café with outside seating looking over the river; a functions and banqueting hall; rooms to hire and a 20-bed hostel for holiday makers, residential courses and groups.

The income from these commercial areas will support the community facilities.

Membership of the club is £10 a month which after deducting VAT is worth £100 a year to the trust or £125 if gift aided.

To find out more about the club,  email or telephone 01748 850123 and ask to speak with James Gravenor.