THE site of a closed York secondary school will become a health and wellbeing hub, under plans being put forward by the council.
Falling student numbers sounded the death knell for Burnholme Community College, which is closing for good at the end of this term.
Now the council’s cabinet looks set to approve plans to transform the college’s site into a health and wellbeing hub, including a pharmacy, nursery, sport and arts facilities, and library.
A report set to go before the cabinet on Tuesday, July 1, sets out four shortlisted options for the site including a health hub in either the refurbished school buildings or a newly built facility, housing, or community uses, and asks for the cabinet’s approval to work on the health plans.
The report, by the council’s assistant director of property, finance and procurement, Tracey Carter, and head of asset management Philip Callow, says land behind the schools is already earmarked as the site of a new elderly persons’ home and there is strong community support for the health hub plans.
But finances for the scheme, which could be open in 2016, are “finely balanced”, the report says, and dependent on developer cash from neighbouring Derwenthorpe housing site, the council donating the £2.9m land free, and an injection of cash from potential occupiers such as the NHS.
The scheme will also need money from the sale of housing on the site to go ahead. Although the current proposals only include show housing being built on brownfield sites, more development might be needed on green areas of the site to make the project financially viable, the report adds.
Now officers say they need cabinet approval to find an outside company to manage the project, as they say the council does not have the in-house expertise to develop the scheme on its own.
Interim plans have also been made to let community groups and businesses that use the buildings stay on site, for an initial 12 month period while the longer- term plans are being made.