Working together to save ‘quirky’ listed building as community hub

Legsby Old School EMN-141118-081308001
Legsby Old School EMN-141118-081308001
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A group of villagers is working together to save a grade II listed building from decay and create something the whole community can use.

The old school at Legsby has been used as a polling station, meeting place and youth club since it ceased to be a full-time school.

But over the last few decades it has become unloved and uncared for.

Attempts to save the building have been ongoing for the past 20 years, but now a new group of enthusiasts has taken up the baton.

Having cared for the building unofficially over the past four years, The Legsby Old School committee has now been formally constituted, with a groundswell of local support, and has a defined two-stage project in mind.

“For longevity it is important to go through the proper channels and we are looking at securing a long-term lease for the building,” said committee member Janis Bowley.

“We recognise the building must be secured and saved as it is, so the first priority is to get funding for the building work to do that; we can then look at what the community want to use it for.”

Ownership of the building, which is next to the parish church, has been unclear over the years, but now the group is working with the Diocese to progress the project.

“The Diocese is in full support of the building being used by the community and we are negotiating to make that happen,” added Janis.

“The building has also now been accepted on the district council’s community assets register, which is a real step forward.”

But one thing is clear, the group doesn’t want to create a village hall, but a community hub which will retain the charm of the building and support a number of uses.

“If we had wanted just a village meeting place we could have started from scratch and had a new build,” said fellow committee member Ian Rushby.

“This is a quirky building; we want to preserve its history and create a unique space.”

One of its features is a separate building which houses a composting bin and the group is looking to keep this facility and make the rest of the site as environmentally sound as possible.

“The majority of people involved in this project are passionate about considering the environment,” added Janis.

“We already have a green consultant on board for when things get going and we will be looking at environmental 
impact every step of the way.

“For a tiny place, I am amazed at how many people are active and interested in doing things - it’s very exciting.”