New Education Funding Pot For Bingley

Bradford Council have decided how they will spend money raised from the sale of a former school.

A new funding pot to help support education in the Bingley area has been set up using the money raised from the sale of a former school.

The crumbling Priesthorpe Annex building on Mornington Road used to be home to Bingley Technical College. The building was held in a trust, run by Bradford Council, with a covenant that it could only ever be used for the benefit of the education of children and adults in Bingley. In November the 19th Century building was sold by Bradford Council for £226,000, and it has since been demolished for a development of houses.

Due to the covenant, the money from the sale had to be spent on education in Bingley, and at a meeting yesterday, Councillors sitting as trust members debated what to do with the money.

During the meeting, members heard that different groups had requested to receive a share of the cash.

Bingley based Down Syndrome Training and Support Service said the money could boost its efforts to provide education and skills to local children with Down Syndrome.

The Friends of Bingley Pool, which is looking to take on the town’s pool, suggested the money could be spent on their efforts to retain the facility.

And Sarah Crowther, head of Myrtle Park Primary School, told the meeting that the school was suffering from a lack of adequate government funding, and a share of the money could help provide extra staff our outdoor play facilities.

Councillor Geoff Winnard (Cons, Bingley) said: It is good news that £226,000 has eventually come from the long and sorry process. The building doesn’t exist anymore but it is important this money be spent for the educational benefit of Bingley.”

A report to trustees suggested a number of options for how the money could be spent, including sharing it out between the different groups, investing it in a building like the pool or library.

But Councillors raised concerns about spending all the money at once. Councillor Russell Brown (Cons, Worth Valley) said: “It has been a tragedy the building was allowed fall into decline and has now been knocked down, but we are where we are. I think we need to maintain this money so it can be used in perpetuity. I’m not keen to dispose of this all at once. If we get rid of all the money now it might be great for the short term, but then the money is lost forever.”

He suggested that keeping the money in a trust would allow donations to be made to different groups in the town on an annual basis. It would also mean the money creates interest that would be donated.

Chair Councillor David Warburton (Lab, Wyke) suggested the groups that made representations each be given £2,000, and from now on groups in the town will be asked to make requests for funding. Money will be granted to Myrtle Park Primary for outdoor play equipment, the Down Syndrome Service and to help the Friends of Bingley Pool provide swimming lessons.

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