What does the future hold for Todmorden Community College?

Todmorden Community College, Burnley Road, Todmorden.
Todmorden Community College, Burnley Road, Todmorden.

The future of Todmorden Community College is being considered after a study was commissioned to explore future uses of the site.

The study, which is being jointly funded by Calderdale Council and Todmorden Town Council, was requested by members of the Todmorden Development Board and commissioned in partnership with Upper Calder Valley Renaissance.

The college, which is currently underused, is owned by Calderdale Council and offers children’s centre and youth provision plus courses for adults aged 19 and over. The ageing building is incurring significant costs to maintain its current use and is in need of refurbishment.

Councillor Susan Press, Todmorden Development Board’s chair and Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “The site has lots of potential and we’ve jointly commissioned the study with Todmorden Town Council to explore all possible options for the building and the site.

“This could include a collaboration with the supermarket chain Aldi, which has expressed interest in the land, or transferring ownership of the existing building to a local community organisation, which we have seen work so successfully in other parts of the borough.”

The council has had initial discussions with Aldi about them acquiring the Todmorden College site.

An Aldi spokesperson said: “The inclusion of the college in our plans for Todmorden would increase the overall size of our site and, subject to planning consent, allow us to build a larger Aldi with more car parking spaces.

“As part of our plans for the site we would also build a children’s centre and youth service facility to benefit the community. We look forward to continuing discussions with the council about the site.”

Councillor Steph Booth added: “Another possibility is to expand and develop the range of courses on offer in the current building to include post-16 and life-long learning.

“We would also maintain the excellent childcare and develop the youth provision on site and explore the possibility of providing facilities and support to nurture new businesses.

“The college is ideally placed in the heart of the community. We’re excited at the prospect of exploiting the full potential of the building, which will be a major part of our continuing drive to regenerate Todmorden town centre.”

The Aldi option and the pre-feasibility study into possible new community provision will be presented to the Todmorden Development Board in January 2017.