Former Sanford Street School is lying enpty

Former Sanford Street School is lying enpty

Former Sanford Street School is lying enpty

First published in News by

AN HISTORIC former school in the town centre, which for many years was the base for Swindon Council’s children’s services department, is now boarded up after all 140 staff were moved out.

Sanford House, in Sanford Street, was an office for the department’s central planning and senior officers, but the staff have now moved to Wat Tyler West, on the main civic campus, with the final staff members leaving on December 14 after a three-week rolling relocation programme.

Swindon Council says the children services department has become smaller over the years, particularly as schools gain independence as academies, so the building had become increasingly empty. The relocation aims to save costs and encourage more joined-up working across departments as part of the Stronger Together reorganisation.

An estimated 900 people – about half of Swindon Council’s workforce – are expected to be relocated to the civic campus from Wat Tyler House, Sanford House and the Civic Annex by the end of February in a scheme estimated to cost £521,000, but expected to save £93,000 annually, including £50,000 through consolidating business administration support functions.

Coun David Renard, cabinet member for children services, said: “The downstairs windows are boarded up and the car park has been locked up.

“It’s now with the property department and the property officers and the cabinet member [Coun Mark Edwards] will be having a look at options for what happens to that building in the future.

“It’s a positive move, because all staff now from all the different departments are in the same place, so with things such as safe routes to schools for example, the officers from the schools side and the highways side are both in the same place.

“So working across some of these issues is going to be much improved. And also when we had officers across to the civic and vice versa it was wasting a lot of time. Across a lot of officers, across a lot of days, that’s quite a lot of time taken up.”

The former school, which is about 130 years old, was the creation of architect Brightwen Binyon, who designed, among other things, the town hall in Regent Circus, and the 1892 additions to the Mechanics’ Institute in the Railway Village.

Coun Renard, who is also deputy council leader, said all the options for the building’s future use were still on the table, but he did not want to see it empty for a long period and his personal preference would be to convert it into a central office for the charity and voluntary sector.

He said: “It’s trying to bring a lot of small groups together, that’s quite a difficult thing to do. At one time The Platform was going to be used as a multi-agency hub and it was difficult to get all the funding and agreement in place from parties to make it happen.

“So we’ll just have to explore it and hopefully it comes off. If not, then other options will have to be explored.”

Comments (14)

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11:04pm Sun 6 Jan 13

twasadawf says...

This would make an ideal school for the overspill from drove rd school and would save the council (us) money as it's it's not far from manchester road area
This would make an ideal school for the overspill from drove rd school and would save the council (us) money as it's it's not far from manchester road area twasadawf
  • Score: 0

1:15am Mon 7 Jan 13

SpeakUp says...

Given Councillor Des Moffatt's recent and ridiculous comment that “We’re in the age of glass and concrete" let's hope he's not involved in deciding what to do with the old school. Or anything else related to our local heritage, for that matter - we've lost far too much already.
Given Councillor Des Moffatt's recent and ridiculous comment that “We’re in the age of glass and concrete" let's hope he's not involved in deciding what to do with the old school. Or anything else related to our local heritage, for that matter - we've lost far too much already. SpeakUp
  • Score: 0

7:30am Mon 7 Jan 13

SockPuppet says...

Its not listed and prime real estate, I see it being knocked down....shame though.
Its not listed and prime real estate, I see it being knocked down....shame though. SockPuppet
  • Score: 0

9:28am Mon 7 Jan 13

StillPav says...

How about turning it into a technology hub for small start-up companies?
How about turning it into a technology hub for small start-up companies? StillPav
  • Score: 0

10:55am Mon 7 Jan 13

Davey Gravey says...

Knocked down and sold for flats is my prediction.
Knocked down and sold for flats is my prediction. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 0

11:34am Mon 7 Jan 13

cherryblossom says...

SpeakUp wrote:
Given Councillor Des Moffatt's recent and ridiculous comment that “We’re in the age of glass and concrete" let's hope he's not involved in deciding what to do with the old school. Or anything else related to our local heritage, for that matter - we've lost far too much already.
I agree, the way Swindon looks after it's heritage is disgusting.
[quote][p][bold]SpeakUp[/bold] wrote: Given Councillor Des Moffatt's recent and ridiculous comment that “We’re in the age of glass and concrete" let's hope he's not involved in deciding what to do with the old school. Or anything else related to our local heritage, for that matter - we've lost far too much already.[/p][/quote]I agree, the way Swindon looks after it's heritage is disgusting. cherryblossom
  • Score: 0

2:02pm Mon 7 Jan 13

WoodsideLady says...

I absolutely agree, they don't look after their heritage AT ALL!! Sanford is a lovely looking building and as it was built in traditional brick it doesn't date - unlike the recently knocked down Swindon College which was an eye sore for years. Concrete and glass dates quickly. The old College on Victoria Hill still looks a distinguished building and hopefully it will be the same for Sanford and NOT be demolished!
I absolutely agree, they don't look after their heritage AT ALL!! Sanford is a lovely looking building and as it was built in traditional brick it doesn't date - unlike the recently knocked down Swindon College which was an eye sore for years. Concrete and glass dates quickly. The old College on Victoria Hill still looks a distinguished building and hopefully it will be the same for Sanford and NOT be demolished! WoodsideLady
  • Score: 0

3:42pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Tim Newroman says...

StillPav wrote:
How about turning it into a technology hub for small start-up companies?
Fantastic idea.
[quote][p][bold]StillPav[/bold] wrote: How about turning it into a technology hub for small start-up companies?[/p][/quote]Fantastic idea. Tim Newroman
  • Score: 0

8:09pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Empty Car Park says...

New login
New login Empty Car Park
  • Score: 0

8:12pm Mon 7 Jan 13

OldTown90 says...

WoodsideLady wrote:
I absolutely agree, they don't look after their heritage AT ALL!! Sanford is a lovely looking building and as it was built in traditional brick it doesn't date - unlike the recently knocked down Swindon College which was an eye sore for years. Concrete and glass dates quickly. The old College on Victoria Hill still looks a distinguished building and hopefully it will be the same for Sanford and NOT be demolished!
@WoodsideLady

The old college on Victoria Hill is owned by the developers.

Sadly, I fear that whatever they want to do to it, even if that means knocking it down, this weak administration will yield to their wishes.

After all this administration is hardly going to bite the hands that feed it.

Much of Swindon's ills can be laid squarely at the feet of the current administration and their obsession with car parks.
[quote][p][bold]WoodsideLady[/bold] wrote: I absolutely agree, they don't look after their heritage AT ALL!! Sanford is a lovely looking building and as it was built in traditional brick it doesn't date - unlike the recently knocked down Swindon College which was an eye sore for years. Concrete and glass dates quickly. The old College on Victoria Hill still looks a distinguished building and hopefully it will be the same for Sanford and NOT be demolished![/p][/quote]@WoodsideLady The old college on Victoria Hill is owned by the developers. Sadly, I fear that whatever they want to do to it, even if that means knocking it down, this weak administration will yield to their wishes. After all this administration is hardly going to bite the hands that feed it. Much of Swindon's ills can be laid squarely at the feet of the current administration and their obsession with car parks. OldTown90
  • Score: 0

9:36pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Better Than Bob says...

Much of Swindon's ills can be laid squarely at the feet of the current administration and their obsession with car parks.


And paving slabs

And flats

And "visions"
[quote] Much of Swindon's ills can be laid squarely at the feet of the current administration and their obsession with car parks. [/quote] And paving slabs And flats And "visions" Better Than Bob
  • Score: 0

2:39am Tue 8 Jan 13

SpeakUp says...

Russell Hooland of Swindon Council recently got heavily involved in the comments section of another online Adver story. Whilst I do not agree with all he had to say (council rents consultation stuff) I applaud his willingness to discuss the issues openly and with some eloquence. It would be nice to see similar ineraction with officers or councillors from SBC over the issue here - our heritage (or it's destruction). Maybe I live in hope? Or just maybe someone from SBC will be willing to get involved - so far the public opinion seems pretty clear - SBC needlessly destroy Swindon's heritage. SBC reply awaited.........
Russell Hooland of Swindon Council recently got heavily involved in the comments section of another online Adver story. Whilst I do not agree with all he had to say (council rents consultation stuff) I applaud his willingness to discuss the issues openly and with some eloquence. It would be nice to see similar ineraction with officers or councillors from SBC over the issue here - our heritage (or it's destruction). Maybe I live in hope? Or just maybe someone from SBC will be willing to get involved - so far the public opinion seems pretty clear - SBC needlessly destroy Swindon's heritage. SBC reply awaited......... SpeakUp
  • Score: 0

9:02am Tue 8 Jan 13

HOOKEY says...

open it up for the homeless
open it up for the homeless HOOKEY
  • Score: 0

11:44am Tue 8 Jan 13

MrAngry says...

Converting the building into flats would be better than demolishing it or leaving it empty.
Converting the building into flats would be better than demolishing it or leaving it empty. MrAngry
  • Score: 0

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