The school was built in 1876 and provided an education for Girls and infant Boys until it closed 100 years later in 1976. The building was then used as Council offices until recently.
The Friends of the Old Girls’ School was formed to prevent this beautiful historic building from deteriorating due to being unused and to explore the possibility of bringing it into community use.
The Friends group continued to pursue these aims within the Governance of Sherburn in Elmet Community Trust. Four of the Friends group; Andrew Potts, Tony Hewitt, Alma Hodgson and Gary Limbert have become Trustees of the Community Trust.
North Yorkshire County Council granted a lease to Sherburn in Elmet Community Trust from April 2017
The building needed considerable work to bring it back into use. Some grant funding was obtained to revamp the garden area to the front of the building and to carry out some repairs to the roof and bring the toilets back into use during 2017.
The Trust was awarded National Lottery Funding for both the renovation work and the running cost for the first 3 years. Further funding has also come from a number of other grant awards and several kind donors for the renovation work.
The Vision is to use the building in a flexible way to provide a multiple use facility for the Community. After the first 3 years, usage will have to generate sufficient income to provide for the management, upkeep and maintenance of the building.
Contractors for the main renovation work were appointed for start to be made in March 2018 and the work was substantially completed at the end of June. A considerable amount of painting and decorating is being done by volunteers over the summer with a view to a grand opening of the Community Centre and Tearoom on the weekend of 1/2 September 2018.
Sarah Kay, who is the Community Centre Manager, started in her new role on the 2nd July 2018.
A website dedicated to the Old Girls’ School can be found at http://oldgirlsschool.co.uk