Old school eyesore brought back to life

Schools out but new homes are in at Quarrington's old school on Grantham Road thanks to an NKDC project to save the building and create nine new rental homes. EMN-191009-131649001
Schools out but new homes are in at Quarrington's old school on Grantham Road thanks to an NKDC project to save the building and create nine new rental homes. EMN-191009-131649001

An historic, 150-year-old former school which has stood empty and neglected for 17 years has at last been reborn thanks to a £1.1m investment by North Kesteven District Council.

The Grade 2-listed old Quarrington School on Grantham Road has been converted into nine council homes for social housing tenants.

NKDC’s £1.1m investment was supported by £400,000 from Homes England’s Affordable Housing Programme, providing social housing in an area of high demand.

Originally built in 1867, the school closed in 2002 and has been subject to vandalism and decay.

Coun Ian Carrington, Executive Member for housing and property, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to deliver a scheme that offers so much potential benefit to the community; not only in the creation of new, much-needed affordable housing, but also the preservation of a building which has sadly become something of an eyesore.”

Making best use of the space and celebrating the characteristic architecture, a feature is the creation of three modern living spaces where an upstairs bedroom effectively hangs within the roof apex of the old school hall.

Developers Sankate Homes finished work on September 6, six weeks ahead of schedule. Applications are now sought from people who meet the lettings requirements, which include specific local connection. Because of the unique nature of this scheme, preference will be given to applicants who are in permanent employment and aged over 25.

Across the development there are four two-bed homes (semi-detached and within the old school), two with three bedrooms (detached and semi-detached) and three one-bed units (within the old school).

Under a 2007 approval, nine housing association homes were built in the former playground but the main building remained untouched as the housing slump hit.

In 2012 the plan was amended to allow three flat conversions within the main school hall, two more in an annexe and a sixth in the old headmaster’s office; it is this plan that has now been fulfilled, with a three new homes constructed in the grounds.