New start for school

A FORMER school has been given a new lease of life.

St Andrew’s School in Wormingford has opened its doors for the first time as Wormingford Community Education Centre, signalling a fresh chapter for the site, which has operated as a school since 1879.

The centre’s new beginning was orchestrated after a survey and village meetings showed people were keen to make use of the building in Church Road.

A proposal for the site to become an education centre was agreed late last year and a management committee was formed.

Centre chairman Jo Ling said a weekend of events to celebrate the new beginning had proved popular with music workshops, book clubs and stalls all running.

“The school was buzzing with exciting activities which appealed to all ages and there was just so much going on,” she said.

“The management committee invited people to come and have fun and to continue the discussion about what the community would like to see happening here, and how it will complement and enhance village life for all generations.”

Over the last few months, volunteers at the centre have been working closely with a number of organisations to draw up a business plan and an application for a grant from Essex Community Fund, which raises funds to support local causes, has been submitted.

Mrs Ling also said talks were taking place with a range of providers, including Age Concern, nursery schools and dancing teachers.

“This centre is for everyone, whatever their age or ability and we are keen to provide opportunities for people to run classes as well as participate in them,” she said.

“We are still very much in the early stages but this is an idyllic setting and a great building which we don’t want to lose.

“We want to encourage people to come along and see how they might be able to make use of the space, and need the support of the village to make the centre a success.”

q For further information about the centre or to volunteer to help out, contact Jo Ling on 01787 229970.