Admiral Collingwood’s Historic School Gets an Office Makeover
It’s all ship-shape and plain sailing for the former school of naval hero Admiral Collingwood, as it undergoes a transformation into office space.
The former school building of 19th century naval hero Admiral Collingwood, who served alongside Lord Nelson in several British victories of the Napoleonic Wars, is undergoing a conversion project into office space.
Collingwood’s naval career spanned four decades, within which he is perhaps best known for taking control of the British fleet during the Battle of Trafalgar. He dedicated his life to his country and to the seas, and various lasting tributes pay homage to his success in the form of statues and street names.
Collingwood spent his early years learning naval sailing skills in a building on Newcastle’s Quayside, known as The Schoolhouse. Given its connection with Collingwood and its rich history, The Schoolhouse is a treasured part of the Newcastle skyline. Not only that, but some parts of the building and others around it are thought to date back over 1,000 years. So in order to protect this treasured piece of history, the 260 year old Grade II* listed Schoolhouse is undergoing a delicate transformation.
According to The Northern Echo, Collingwood’s former schoolhouse had until recently been used as storage space for the Live Theatre.
But as the building began to slip into disrepair, numerous groups including the Live Theatre and regional funding bodies took the decision to undergo a conversion project and adapt the building into office space.
Given the possibility that some parts date back many hundreds of years, the ┬ú350,000 project called for extensive and sympathetic renovation work along the way to ensure any original prized features were kept intact.
“This is a significant piece of North East history which had been neglected for a number of years,” said Jim Beirne, Chief Executive at the Live Theatre. “Our intention was to breathe new life into the building and the sensitive restoration work undertaken by Brims Construction has achieved just that.”
The project was joint funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Arts Council England, and now the historic property is facing a new lease of life.
“We have created contemporary offices in an historic setting which would are ideal for businesses in the digital and creative sectors,” Beirne added.
Upon full completion, the historic structure will provide five refurbished offices across three floors which are available to rent to small businesses on flexible terms. Live Theatre is a social enterprise, and any rental income will be channelled back into Live Theatre in order to support its educational and artistic work.