Planning application submitted for restoration of Richmond’s former grammar school

Richmond's old grammar school.

A planning application has been submitted to Richmondshire District Council for the restoration and conversion of Richmond’s former grammar school.

Aided by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and the Architectural Heritage Fund, trustees of Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust (RBPT) and volunteers have been working for more than two years to devise plans and raise funds to reopen the building as a new community hub for Richmond.

The submission of final plans to the council represents a major step forward for the trust, who have undertaken extensive consultations with stakeholders, conducted research into the history of the building and its former pupils, carried out surveys on the building and formed a business plan for the future running of the building.

Fundraising has been a major part of the work that has been carried out.

Trustees of Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust (RBPT) celebrate the submission of the planning application.

While a significant sum in donations and pledges has already been raised, there is still some way to go to fulfil the target of £800,000 to match the application for Lottery funding of £1.8 million.

Raising the funds and making a successful application to the Lottery are the last major hurdles to be cleared.

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 beautiful 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.

James Gravenor, who is leading the project is relieved that the group has reached this point in their work.

“After much public consultation and a lot of hard work by my trust colleagues and the consultants we have employed, I’m pleased that we have now submitted a planning application to change the use of the old grammar school to a community hub.”

The result of the application should be determined by the summer.

Until then fund raising continues with events, grant applications, donation schemes and sponsorship opportunities.

To find out more about how to help with the restoration of the old grammar school visit the trust’s website at or email