Have your say on the future of college

Todmorden Community College, Burnley Road, Todmorden.
Todmorden Community College, Burnley Road, Todmorden.

Should Todmorden Community College be demolished or revitalised?

This is the question Todmorden residents are being asked to consider.

Upper Calder Valley Renaissance (UCVR) was commissioned by both Calderdale and Todmorden councils to undertake a pre-feasibility study into the sustainability of the college as a community asset.

Budget supermarket chain Aldi has approached Calderdale Council to purchase the college, with a view to expanding the size of the supermarket for which they already have planning permission for on the former Abraham Ormerod and Olympia Cinema site on Burnley Road.

As part of its plans for the site, Aldi has said it would build a children’s centre and youth facility.

A number of groups and individuals, including a town council working party, have put forward a proposal to save the college building and revitalise it as an educational centre for 16 plus adult education.

There are also proposals for accommodation for both visitors and residential courses.

Another proposal looks to provide office, workspace and community meeting facilities on the site. It’s hoped many existing uses of the building can be retained.

Katherine Wackerbarth, UCVR project manager for the study said: “Our role is to assess the demand for the various proposals put forward and to provide an indication as to the potential viability of those proposal and then to make the case for any that should go forward to a full business case.

“It will then be up to Calderdale Council to decide if they believe there is sufficient potential and a commitment from the community to retain the college building and to revitalise it as a community asset rather than sell it to Aldi for demolition.

“We are also assessing if the building is fit for purpose and would be adaptable and suitable for the uses proposed.”

The report has to be completed before Christmas so it can be available in the New Year.

This means the survey will only run until December 1.

UCVR is urging people to have their say. The survey asking people to indicate their preferences for the college will be available at various locations around Todmorden, including the health centre, Todmorden Information Centre, the library college and on a market stall this Saturday. It’s also available online at www.ucvr.org.uk.