Please Save the Old SchoolHouse, Hackney!

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Clapton Arts , a group of local campaigners, are urgently trying to save The Old Schoolhouse. This fantastic grade II listed building was designed by Arthur Ashpitel, a highly rated architect and Vice President of RIBA.  He built the schoolhouse to education people in Hackney. 

For more than 70 years, young people, particularly children from poor families in the neighbourhood, and from the local traveller and bargee community, were taught here.  Children from the families who went to church at St James, also were taught here - and it became known as the Mission Room. 

The building was sold in the 1920's and became a site for local industry, including Glassmaking.  This overlooked the instructions to trustees to keep it for philanthropic purposes in the community.  Sadly one step towards commercial ownership led to another, and a property developer was allowed to buy the building along with a large plot of land around it in the 2009 and while flats were built up around it, the Schoolhouse with it's listed status was left to rot. 

Now permission has been granted to turn the site into two flats.  So Clapton Arts are in a race against time to try to get public support for the site and win it back for the community - or, it will be lost forever.  

We've now got support from Julian Harrap Architects (specialists in restoring historic buildings), EastEnd Preservation Society, Spitalfield's Trust and Save Britain's Heritage - the national campaigning organisation to win back buildings of historic interest for their communities.  

We would love to turn the building into a landmark hub for cultural heritage and media projects, partnering with all the fantastic creative organisations and working with many of our local creative residents to run workships for people. 

Hackney has major issues with inequality of opportunity and resources, plus we are currently very much on the back foot when it comes to digital skills and training with very little going on here compared to other boroughs.  With this building as a hub - we can change all this! 

But first we need to secure the building! 

The building is up for the auction tomorrow, Thursday 19th July 2018, with a starting price of £495,000.

The viewings have now been done, we have submitted an application for the Council to recognise the site as an Asset of Community Value to allow us to present proposals to buy it.  Or perhaps a generous local individual could help?! 

Either way - please show your support in keeping this building in use for the community, rather than individuals, 

It's in a fantastic location where people walk past everyday, and a pub next door.  So we could all go and celebrate there together if we are succesful! 

Please, please sign and share this petition with friends and colleagues if you believe this fantastic building should be saved for everyone in the Hackney community! 

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