The Future of Rodmell School’s Buildings
With the village’s right of way to the playground now assured, attention is turning to the future of the school buildings.
A group has been formed of interested people from Rodmell and the nearby villages, calling itself the Ouse Valley Co-operative, with a view to purchasing the school for the benefit of the village. Recently they lodged an application to register the school buildings as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), so that it could be bought and run as a village resource. An ACV has the effect allowing the group behind it to make an early purchase offer, and of delaying the sale by up to four months: it does not mean that the seller has any obligation to accept the group’s offer.
Angus Walker, one of the founder members of the group, reports that progress has been slow because the Diocese seem unwilling to to engage with the group. However, the recent community open event for the school was a great success, with apparently 200+ through the door, lots of ideas shared and concerns aired, all of which they are looking carefully at.
The next step is to raise the money to make a formal offer to the diocese, since the Board will then have to consider the offer and so engage directly with them. The community group is looking at various options, though they obviously find it frustrating not to have any indication at all of the price the Diocese are seeking. More information is coming shortly, and they would welcome contact from anyone who wants to get involved in any way.
George Hickey Reports on the recent open event:
A big thank you to the 200 and more residents of the Ouse Valley (and beyond) who came out on 11th May, in sunshine and in rain, to express interest in the project to save Rodmell Old School as a thriving community asset.
Visitors enjoyed lots of activities, from painting with Vicky Mappin to making sheep with Kathryn Martin, while airing their views (fortified by tea and homemade cakes) on current plans and possible next steps. Many people signed up to get involved and we would love to see them at the next meeting; there was also much interest in the Co-working Spaces/ Studios.
All your comments have been noted with great interest and we are buoyed by your enthusiastic support. The recent article in the Sussex Express further fueled ideas and generated lots more positive interest.
Comments about the pub, parking and the future of the village hall are duly noted too.
Here are some of your brilliant ideas:
A Hub on South Downs Way for walkers
Local produce to be sold in the shop and cafe
A place to tell and display stories of the place, the land and the people
Singing and story-telling groups
A Meeting and Support Space
Children’s Playgroup and After School club
Art classes for children and adults
A visiting Hairdresser
Computer and Tablet lessons
Vegetable Box collection point
Solar panels for heating