Old school is riding high

A PROJECT to breathe new life into the Ridings is progressing well.

A GP surgery is now open on the site of the former Ovenden school and exciting developments are in the pipeline, according to Coun Barry Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden).

He told the council’s cabinet committee that talks were taking place with a not-for-profit group to take over the management of the Ridings.

Despite the Ridings missing out on £700,000 funding from the council’s capital resources, Coun Collins said it was “full steam ahead.”

“The health centre has opened and several doctors are working from there,” he said.

“We are hoping to develop a pharmacy and it has been the council’s intention to try and find a not-for-profit organisation that could take over the management of the Ridings’ site and, if possible, invest in its future.

“We have consulted widely and now have a social enterprise group and we are in detailed discussions.”

For reasons of confidentiality he could not name the group.

A redeveloped sports hall, restaurant/cafe and meeting rooms are included in the plans.

Councillor Collins said interest was strong in what was a practical, forward-looking scheme.

“Hopefully, this will come off and be a boost for North Halifax,” he said.