Project manager installed for Old Grammar School redevelopment

The Old Grammar School in Richmond. Photo: Guy Carpenter.

The Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust (RBPT) has announced the appointment of Kate Dickson as project manager for the Old Grammar School development in Richmond.

Kate is director of Buxton-based Creative Heritage Consultants Ltd, which was established in 2011.

The consultancy provides services to those with responsibilities for listed and historic buildings, especially redundant structures and those at risk.

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RBPT says the company is ideally suited for this challenging role with the RBPT, which aims to bring the Old Grammar School back to life with a new purpose for the community of Richmond.

The RBPT has recently been awarded a round one pass with development funding of £155,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, under the Heritage Enterprise programme.

This is supported by a further £25,000 from the Architectural Heritage Fund to help progress plans towards making a round two application in spring 2019.

Richmondshire District Council and North Yorkshire County Council are also supporting the project.

The Project aims to protect and conserve the heritage of Richmond’s 19th century former Grammar School, a Grade II listed building, which has been unused since 2011.

New purposes for the building have been identified to provide community uses supported by commercial enterprises.

Uses under consideration are a small independent hostel, community offices, a multi-use community hall, function room, second-hand bookshop and café.

During the next 15 months Kate will oversee the scheme development work required to take the Old Grammar School project forward, working with a design team, business planning and community engagement consultants, the councils and the trust.

The team will assess the viability of options and develop the detailed plans required to apply for second-round Heritage Lottery Fund funding, which will allow the building to be repaired, designed and repurposed for future use.

Kate Dickson, the new project manager for Richmond’s Old Grammar School Project

Kate is enthusiastic about the Old Grammar School project.

She said: “Creative Heritage is very pleased to have been appointed to work with RBPT on this enterprising project, which will see the much-loved Grammar School brought into uses that will be of benefit to the local and wider community.

“I have enormous respect for the voluntary sector and am a strong believer in capacity building to enable local people and organisations to deliver projects that meet community needs.

“I am really looking forward to working with the RBPT Trustees and local partners to develop proposals for the building and opportunities for people to engage with their heritage and develop skills.”

James Gravenor who is leading the project on behalf of the RBPT added: “I am very pleased that Kate has agreed to become our project manager.

“Her expertise and experience will take us a big step forward in our long journey to bring the beautiful Old Grammar School back into use in a new role”.

Kate took up her post with the RBPT this week and public consultations will be undertaken shortly.