Campaign steps up to save former school as '˜community hub'

The City of Culture slogan 'Everyone back to ours' rings hollow when an area of Hull faces losing its main community asset, according to a GP.

GP Patrick Naughton-Doe who is fighting to save Newland primary school as a community asset.

Patrick Naughton-Doe is calling on Hull Council to halt the sale of the former Newland primary school to a developer and consult the public over alternative uses.

The “largest and least altered” of Hull’s Victorian board schools, the school buildings sit on a one-acre site off Newland Avenue and are currently used by a youth club, carers’ group and a drama group, among others.

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The site includes an all-weather football pitch - which council documents describe as a “scarce and important community asset” and gardens.

It was sold to a developer last year for £425,000, who wants to turn the front into ground floor retail units and the upstairs into flats. The rear buildings would be converted to apartments.

But more than 600 people have signed petitions calling for it to become a community hub, somewhere for children to play and a space for creative industries. There will be a second public meeting on Thursday at 7pm Union Mash Up on Princes Avenue to explore ways to take the campaign forward. The plan is to raise capital by selling shares and securing a mortgage on the building which would run as a not for profit community hub.

Mr Naughton-Doe expects to find out next month whether an attempt to register the building as an asset of community value (ACV) has been successful. He said: “‘Everyone back to ours’ rings hollow when there will be nowhere to call ‘ours’ in the Wyke area in 2017 if this sale is not prevented.”

Hull Council said they were assessing the ACV application. The building has been sold subject to contract “following a normal marketing process that took place in 2015.”