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Restoration of The Donnison School:

From the Ashes...

Click the image to enlarge.

The Donnison School was bought in 2001 for the princely sum of £2,400.  This was raised by a handful of committed local historians who contributed several hundred pounds each to secure the site.  At the time this was a gamble. Buying a Grade II listed property on the at-risk register and in major need of a restoration plan.  A lot was at stake!


In 2001 the restoration campaign got under way.  An initial sum of £10,000 was secured from the local authority to bring on board an architect and a surveyor.  It also secured the site, making it wind and water tight.  Vandalism was the real problem in the early days.  This was an ambitious plan to bring this derelict shell back to life for the community to use once again.

AND it wasn't without its trials and tribulations.....

Donnison OPening night.jpg
The Donnison School Heritage and Education Centre was officially opened in December 2007
Dennis Bulmer, founder member of Living History North East, is seen here with Janette Hilton, Director and next to her the Regional Director of Heritage Lottery Fund
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