Old school will be ‘handed to community’

FRENCHAY residents look set to win their campaign to secure the former primary school building for community use.

Frenchay & Downend ward South Gloucestershire councillors Liz Brennan and Ben Burton say the old school “will be handed to the local community” in the coming year, following a decision by the cabinet in February.

The council stopped short of officially confirming the move when approached by the Voice.

A spokesperson said: “We are exploring opportunities to work with the Frenchay community to provide a space/facilities for local people.

“Those discussions are ongoing and we will provide an update in the Spring.”

However Cllr Brennan said the Grade II listed building next to Frenchay Common, which has been vacant since the school moved to its new premises in 2022, would become a combined nursery, community café and healthcare ‘drop in’ space.

She said: “This is largely the result of a brilliant campaign led by the Frenchay Residents Association, a group of volunteers who have shown just what can be achieved when local people work together for the greater good.

“This is a fantastic result for the local community and I would like to thank everybody who has helped to make it a reality.”

Frenchay Residents Association chair Adrian Collins said: “We are absolutely delighted with this opportunity, which was first put together as a formal proposal back in the summer of 2020.

“Both Gordon Cole and Hugh Whatley on the FRA team have worked so hard on this project, and the community that will benefit from this owe them and Cllr Liz Brennan an awful lot.” 

“As grandparents with future generations in mind, we are delighted to have the support of SGC and so many officers.”