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Historic Middleton school reopened following revamp

One of Middleton’s most important historic buildings has been reopened following a £590,000 council and National Lottery revamp.

The Grade II*-listed Long Street Methodist School, which has been out of use for a number of years, will now be removed from the national ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.

The renovation is the final and biggest project in the Middleton Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI), a £2.8 million Rochdale Borough Council and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) scheme to restore a number of historically important buildings in Middleton.

Over the last eight months specialists have restored a number of original features, including the leaded windows, stonework, lime render and canopies over the doors.

Other crucial work, including rewiring and fitting a new heating system, has also been carried out to give the old building a new lease of life.

Courtyard

Completed in 1900, the school was designed by the Middleton-born architect Edgar Wood. The architectural style, a mixture of arts and crafts and art nouveau, was groundbreaking at the time and influenced subsequent 20th Century design.

Councillor June West, member of the THI board, says: “The Long Street School is an important part of Middleton’s distinctive architectural tradition, as well as its social history.

“This project has restored an important piece of local history and, by getting it ready for use once again by the local community, has really brought the past to life.

“I’m incredibly proud of everything the THI has achieved with lottery support over seven years and we now have a lasting legacy of spectacular buildings and structures across Middleton which have been restored to their former glory.”

Restored hall

The work was led by conservation architect, Lisa Mcfarlane, director at Seven Architecture.

The Long Street Methodist Church and Schools are now owned by the Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust and will be open to the public this weekend.