A BUILDING erected in Sheffield in 1789 to provide free education for poor children is to get a new lease of life after being awarded £218,900.
The Heritage Lottery Fund cash will pay for the Grade II listed Grenoside Reading Room to be fully restored by the Old School Charity.
The 10-month project will restore the reading room to include a community centre, which will run heritage learning activities for people of all ages.
David Rickards, chair of the Trustees for the Old School Charity, said he was delighted. “Restoring its historic features and preserving its heritage will make it possible for the community and visitors to use the building and garden for education themed activities, making it a real asset to the area,” he said.
He added the building had a significant place in the history of education, non-conformism, steel making, and the early years of the welfare state.
Once restored the building will house publications and materials from the charity, Grenoside and District Local History Group, and the Sorby Natural History Society.
Planned exhibitions and events will explore local history and how it played a key role in the early Sheffield steel industry. The garden will be redesigned and conserved to reflect the building’s history.
Fiona Spiers, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire, said: “Once restored, the building will provide an invaluable resource.”