Bath Place Community Venture could rise from the ashes of its original site which was destroyed by fire four years ago.
The Leamington venture’s management has been awarded two funding grants.
One, from the Social Investment Business, will be used to create a scheme to rebuild the old school building and the other, from the Royal Leamington Spa Building Conservation Trust, to create a financial forecast, business plan and calculation of the annual social return on investment that a rebuild will bring.
Clayton Denwood, the venture’s operations manager, said: “The site as originally built in 1859 was among the first National Schools and has been the focus of an extraordinary amount of community passion over the years from its inception as a community centre in 1974.
“We hope to carry on this tradition for years to come and deliver the wide range of services for which we’re well known and widely respected.
“The provision of these grants will allow us to develop a bid for the capital grants necessary to fund the immediate preservation of the existing buildings and the development of a new centre.”
Mr Denwood said the venture’s management were currently in talks with Warwickshire County Council over the social value of the site’s continued use as a community facility.
Preliminary drawings for the site, produced by architectural firm Sjolander DaCruz, will be available next month.
Mr Denwood said: “We are eager to retain the existing Victorian buildings while conserving many of the surviving heritage features while also developing and environmentally sustainable and welcoming modern centre for all.
“We are very concerned that any alternate use would tangibly harm what is an incredibly important part of Leamington’s history and heritage.”
The venture has been continuing to develop its partnerships with mental health service provider Springfield Mind, addiction support service ESH Works and other community groups and agencies.
Mr Denwood said the venture is particularly interested in reinstating the nursery, which was an important part of Bath Place, and that should the site be rebuilt then some services would be up and running very quickly.
Mr Denwood said: ”It goes without saying that Bath Place has a very special place in the hearts of local people and we’ve been contacted by countless members of the community who are cheering us on and have expressed their wishes to see the site restored to its place at the centre of Old Town.
More information is available on the venture’s Facebook site or website www.bathplace.org