Call to save heritage asset

Kings Hill Special school site on Elliott Street Tyldesley
Kings Hill Special school site on Elliott Street Tyldesley

COUNCIL chiefs have been urged not to allow developers to demolish an historic building in Tyldesley.

Wigan Metro is considering offers for the former Kingshill Special School, in Elliott Street, which lies within the Tyldesley Conservation area.

The school, which taught children with emotional and behavioural problems, was closed three years ago as part of a major shake-up of special schools in the area.

Now developers have until September 23 to submit their plans to buy the site.

But concerns have been raised that the 99-year-old building could be demolished as part of new development plans.

Tyldesley councillor Robert Bleakley said: “At the moment the building is an eyesore. The school has been closed for many months and trees have overgrown and youngsters have been trying to gain access.

“But residents would be horrified if such an historic building was demolished. They would much prefer the site to be used for community purposes or converted into flats.”

Kingshill Special School taught children aged 12 to 16, but has had many previous incarnations throughout its 99-year history.

The building was built in 1912 and opened as The Board School a year later with more than 100 pupils.

It was later renamed Tyldesley County Primary School before being transformed into Kingshill in 2003.

But the building has remained close since both Kingshill Special School and Highlea Secondary School, in Worsley, moved to the £15m New Bridge Learning Centre, Platt Bridge, in September 2008.

Wigan Council said today the former Kingshill Special School was a “substantial building of local interest” and stressed that developers would have to exhaust every other option before demolition is considered.

Interim Corporate Director Annie Faulder said: “Demolition would only be considered as a last resort.

“Balance needs to be struck between the loss to society of the significance of the heritage asset and the benefits of returning the site to use.”