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SALFORD ICON DEMOLITION FOR MEDIACITYUK
 

Star date: 18th August 2010 
A Salford Star Exclusive

PLANS TO DEMOLISH SALFORD CENTRAL MISSION ON SITE FOR OASIS ACADEMY MEDIACITYUK

"I'm not prepared to accept this (Academy planning proposal) unless there's a very clear commitment that the building will not be demolished" Councillor Derek Antrobus, Lead Member Planning Feb 2007

One of Salford's most iconic buildings is to be demolished under plans unveiled yesterday for the new Oasis Academy MediaCityUK high school at Salford Quays.

Central Salford Mission, also known as Salford Central United Reform Church (URC), was labelled "the most important building in Salford" by objectors at an original planning meeting for the school three years ago…

For full story and visual plans click here…


Salford Central URC Building Salford Central URC Building Salford Central URC Building
Salford Central URC Building Salford Central URC Building Salford Central URC Building
Salford Central URC Building Salford Central URC Building Salford Central URC Building
Salford Central URC Building Salford Central URC Building
click image to enlarge

"The City Council would not expect them (Oasis) to behave like opportunist developers – we have to preserve heritage where we can" Councillor Derek Antrobus, Lead Member Planning Feb 2007

The controversial Oasis Academy MediaCityUK, which is set to move from its former Hope High School site to Salford Quays by 2012, is likely to be involved in yet more controversy as plans were unveiled yesterday showing the demolition of the Salford Central URC building.

The iconic building* which celebrated its centenary three years ago is listed locally, and at the original planning meeting for the Academy in February 2007 council planning officers stated that "Its value is identified as being in its tremendous townscape presence at this important gateway to the Quays, the architectural quality of its impressive faēade and its historic association with the Ordsall community".

At that meeting, Leslie Holmes, objecting to any demolition proposal, called Salford Central URC "the most important building in Salford", while Councillor Derek Antrobus, Salford Council's Lead Member for Planning, even criticised the idea that the building's "retention" would be "fully explored during design development"…

"I'm not satisfied" he said "It's not firm enough. I'm not prepared to accept that unless there is a very clear commitment that the building will not be demolished.

"The City Council would not expect them (Oasis) to behave like opportunist developers – we have to preserve heritage where we can" he added "I'm fed up with people saying `We can't retain' – if so you've got a rubbish architect…"

The architects' plans, unveiled for the community at Primrose Hill Primary School in Ordsall yesterday, show the none retention of the Salford Central URC building, and in its place are some trees and a car park in the grounds of the new school.

Oasis Academy MediaCityUK (as well as being a gobful to pronounce) has been dogged with controversy since its inception. The Academy replaced Hope High School and is not classified as a `faith school', although it's run by Oasis Community Learning, part of Oasis UK which also runs Oasis Church Salford.

Its founder Rev Steve Chalke, preaching at the Salford church, stated "we will end up with a church which is also a school…a school that is also a church…We believe that our faith is good news for everyone, we believe our task is to bring God's dimension to Salford…" (for full story click here and here and here)

The 900 place Academy is also estimated by Salford City Council's own figures to be over 65% empty by the academic year 2014/15, and a Council report revealed that it expects "approximately 300 of these places will be taken up by other authorities within the Greater Manchester area" (click here for full story).

These figures are unsurprising given that, according to a 2006 census, over 60% of pupils for Hope High were drawn from the local area, compared to a mere 11% who came to the school from Ordsall, which is near the new Quays site. The community consultation yesterday was at Primrose Hill Primary in Ordsall, not in the vicinity of the former Hope High, the current site of the Academy.

While it's proposed that five buses be laid on to get pupils to the new school, the site is bounded by some of the most congested roads in Salford - Trafford Road and Broadway - and that's before MediaCityUK is open for over 2500 BBC and Salford University staff and students.

Pupils will also have to be bussed out of the site, to Stott Lane, for sports as there are no playing fields on site, just a hard multi-sports surface.

The whole idea of placing a school at this site has been constantly questioned – no playing fields, congested traffic, well out of the catchment area for the current school, and demolishing an iconic building (and closing local businesses) in the process. The answer lies in a Salford Council report from 2005 (and covered in issue 4 of Salford Star)…It was all to do with image and being near Salford Quays…"a fundamental priority" according to the report.

"The most logical options" the report stated, were the Blodwell Street and Churchill Way sites but both had "image issues". Meanwhile, two sites in Ordsall itself were written off because one was "not as desirable as Salford Quays" and for the other "perceptions of the area may affect enrolment".

Salford Council is now desperate to get the school, which should have opened this year, built by 2012 to add to the offer at MediaCityUK. In the rush for image, it appears that community concerns might be brushed aside.

While other Salford BSF (Building Schools for the Future) schools are either being pushed down the expensive PFI (Private Finance Initiative) route or are likely to be axed in the ConDem cuts, the private £20million+ Oasis Academy MediaCityUK, virtually fully funded with public money, appears to be taking priority. Indeed, last month, Salford Council underwrote a schedule of works to the school valued at £651,000 on behalf of the private construction company S&W TLP Ltd "prior to financial close". The reason given was "the timely delivery of the new Oasis Academy building"…

Residents who care about Salford's heritage – including Councillor Antrobus – might well be asking whether a proper appraisal and community consultation over the demolition of the Salford Central URC building will be allowed to hold up "the timely delivery of the new Oasis Academy building"…

Formal plans for the Oasis Academy MediaCityUK will be submitted next week, 24th August, when residents will be able to object formally.

*HISTORY OF SALFORD CENTRAL URC BUILDING

The Central Salford Mission was built in 1907 and was described as "colossal and magnificent" in that year by the Salford Reporter. By the 1930s 5000 people a week used the centre. Kier Hardy gave a talk there and famous Ordsall born composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davis has said that attending Sunday evening concerts at the mission was one of the main influences on him becoming a composer.

Clubs that met at the mission included the PSA (Pleasant Sunday Afternoon), PME (Pleasant Monday Evenings), the Dock Workers Union, Scouts, Brownies and The Sisterhood. 

The Salford Central Mission became the Salford Central United Reform Church in 1972, and in recent years before its closure the building housed studios for artists, photographer, tv and theatre groups.

The building itself was designed in a free classical style by well known architect Edward Hewitt and built by Swinton contractors, Gerrard and Son. It used to have a dome placed at the top of the building which is still stored somewhere in Salford, apparently.

In 2006, when planning was first being sought, there were plans to integrate the Salford Central URC into the new school building. Elizabeth Dobson, Salford Council's Strategic Conservation Officer wrote:

"Concern has been expressed by the Twentieth Century Society at the earlier proposal to clear the site, and it is likely that the Victorian Society will also wish to make representations. English Heritage guidance relating to BSF is available, and while this strictly relates to proposals for existing school buildings, the spirit of the advice aims to encourage the creative reuse of historic buildings. The building is on the Local List as Grade B, warranting positive efforts to ensure retention.

"It is likely that the statutory consultees will expect that the Council takes this opportunity to restore and re-use the building as best practice in following its own policies on the preservation of protected buildings. The proposed plan appears to offer a way forward into discussions to reach an architectural solution which integrates a building of historic and architectural value, as well as considerable townscape presence, into a revised scheme for the Academy.

"The building currently accommodates a range of internal spaces which lend themselves to church, community and educational use. The building was originally designed for these very purposes!

"The possibilities for a mixed use scheme should be explored, perhaps utilising the ground floor shop units for retail uses linked to the use of the site and needs of the students (cafes, bookshop etc). I welcome the revised plans and am happy to meet with the architects to discuss the form of a detailed scheme incorporating the URC building…"

It now looks like this iconic Salford building will be bulldozed to make way for a car park at Oasis Academy MediaCityUK.

Photos by Mikey K

UPDATE 6TH MARCH 2011: click here

 


 

Ben wrote
at 16:13:03 on 02 February 2011
The now long-empty church is due to be demolished some time over the next four weeks (commencing 4th February.)
 
Matthew wrote
at 20:18:08 on 02 September 2010
Mike, for what it's worth, I agree with you that Salford is distinct from (and superior to, in my opinion) Manchester. I also agree that the proposed academy might well be better located elsewhere - I have often wondered why the empty land on Churchill Way, which was previously the site of Windsor High School, was not considered as a potential site. However, if anybody does have any suggestions for creatively reusing the Salford Central Church building, it is up to them to show how the building could be converted to such a use and how such conversion is economically viable in both the short and long term. Simply moaning in the comments to an internet article isn't going to get you anywhere.
 
Mike Skeffington wrote
at 17:25:20 on 02 September 2010
Matthew, I agree the Rev Durber's experience does count for something, it gives an insight into the problems of using the building in its current state, probably a little worse now than it was then. The case for keeping the building is not purely sentimental, at least not for me. With some imagination it could be incorperated into a feature of the gateway to the Quays. Salford's past is integral to it's future and where possible and plausible should be utilised to promote the city's image as historically rich, which it certainly is and distinct from Manchester. As to the issue of the academy, i think it would be much better placed elsewhere in Salford, if indeed it's needed at all.
 
Matthew wrote
at 11:05:02 on 02 September 2010
The Rev. Susan Durber might not have been a structural engineer, but she did have a few years experience of using the building on a regular basis, so I believe that her opinion counts for something. As for your suggestions for future uses for the building, by all means turn it into a training centre, a museum or even a school of some sort, but it would still need reconstruction. It is unusable in its current form.
 
Ed wrote
at 10:33:47 on 02 September 2010
There is a lot of money being spent on this new gateway to the Salford Quays, and that building just happens to be slap bang in the middle, a big ugly relic of the past. I think some people may see it as a blot on the Salford Quays landscape blocking out the view to the Quays as you drive through the new gateway. I also worked on the buildings last renovation (that I know of) in 1981/82, and the building looked like a bomb site inside, but it was renovated and made into a success. Why can’t it be done again? Simple answer really, it’s big, ugly and on the wrong side of Trafford Road!
 
Nachtsclepper wrote
at 20:04:07 on 01 September 2010
I did try but,could not get the page up. The problem would be even if I had that anything that has salford.gov.uk I always treat as dubious to say the least. I must also agree with Mike Skeffington in that neither you, Matthew, nor the Reverend are structural engineers. A good idea might be for the Council to slap a CPO on the place, as they have with so many Salford residents, and perhaps use the building for the benefit of the people of the city. Maybe a place to train the hundreds of unskilled young Salfordians in such trades as joinery, bricklaying or plumbing. Perhaps a museum dedicated to Salford Docks or maybe even a school for the culturally deprived. As we all know though the thoughts of ordinary Salford folk are of no concern to the Council. They are too busy listening to your employers to take any notice of the rest of us.
 
Matthew wrote
at 18:45:32 on 01 September 2010
If you paste the link at the end of this post into your browser, it will take you to a document which analyses the justification for retaining the building and its potential for future educational use. One quote I would like to draw your attention to is as follows: 'The nature and extnt of the internal changes and alterations that would be required to the Salford Central United Reformed Church building, are such that they would fundamentally and permanently alter the number, layout and quality of the internal spaces within the building and obliterate any remaining significance and/or original features or fabric the building may retain as a non-designated heritage asset.' In other words, in attempting to repair the building, you would end up destroying what you value most highly. The link to the whole document is here: http://iclipseweb.salford.gov.uk/AnitePublicDocs/07677446.pdf
 
Mike Skeffington wrote
at 15:38:05 on 01 September 2010
In response to Matthew. Your assessment of the building seems to be based on your 'peronal opinion' (and we all know what that means), drawn from your last visit which was about two years ago I believe. As I assume you are not a structural engineer I suggest your assessment is merely that: your opinion. You quote the Rev Susan Durber, whom, I also assume is not a structural engineer, so I fail to see the relevance here other than to make the point that repairs are needed, which is not in dispute. As to the possible uses for the building and building the Oasis Academy on another perfectly suitable site in Salford, (perhaps Churchill Way), which is easily accessible from Ordsall, Langworthy and Weaste, please refer to my previous postings, Aug 22nd and 24th. In response to, 'Bored'. To refer to someone as a 'Bozo' only serves to bring a healthy debate down to your intellectual level. I'm sure if you really try you could make a point which might add something to the argument.
 
Matthew wrote
at 11:15:26 on 01 September 2010
Opinion (noun): 1. A belief or judgement that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty. 2. A personal view, attitude or appraisal. (taken from dictionary.reference.com). What I am saying about this building is based on recent observation and knowledge of its current condition. As you didn't answer my question, I will ask it again - when was the last time you visited the Salford Central Church building? Furthermore, if you are not willing to listen to me, perhaps you will listen to the words of the Rev Susan Durber, Minister of Salford Central Church between 1992 & 1995 who states that the congregation at the time "were used to coping with a building that was, in many places, falling down. Though it was much loved, the building was always something which loomed over us and we never solved, in my time, what to do about it." (taken from the book Salford Central Mission 1907-2007: A Brief History of the Church and Some of its People)
 
Nachtsclepper wrote
at 09:16:07 on 01 September 2010
Yes what I think, not what somebody pays me to think!
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 09:15:59 on 01 September 2010
Oh & by the way you too could do with a dictionary. Look up opinion.
 
Bored wrote
at 21:17:19 on 31 August 2010
Your opinions ARE what you think, you bozo.
 
Nachtsclepper wrote
at 20:24:12 on 31 August 2010
I'm basing my opinions on what I think, not what I'm paid to say!
 
Matthew wrote
at 15:48:31 on 31 August 2010
Actually, I am not in the employ of anybody. I merely support the organisation that runs the school and I believe that they are doing a good thing for the people of the Ordsall and Langworthy communities (do you know that that the school increased its GCSE pass rate to 82% gaining 5 or more A*-C grades this year?). As for the wishes of local people - I am sure that they would rather have modern educational and community facilities than a crumbling, empty church. By all means keep the building if it so important to you, but realise this: the building is useless in its present form. If it is ever to have any further use, it is going to require MASSIVE internal rebuilding. Without such rebuilding, the only future for the building is to sit on the street corner, locked and unused (just as it is at present). The church might look fine on the outside, but internally it is close to DERELICT and it is UNSAFE. I know this because I have recently seen the inside of the building for myself, when I attended the church before it moved out. Nachtschlepper, I ask you this - when was the last time you visited the URC building? Are you basing your opinions purely on nostalgia, or upon observation?
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 07:44:17 on 31 August 2010
I'm also intelligent to work out that you are obviously in the employ of some vetsed interest or other. Nice to see you finally admit that the building is being cleared to park cars on though. All the bollocks about needing the space to educate children is finally put to rest & we can see this for what it is; another example of those with the money & power riding roughshod over the wishes of ordinary people. Surely there is plenty of space to keep the building & find alternative parking areas.
 
wrote
at 16:19:37 on 26 August 2010
In response to Nachtschlepper, who wrote 'I'm still a bit confused about how a car park is of any use to school children. That is after all what is planned for the site.' - the car park isn't meant to be used by the school's pupils, it is intended for the use of the staff who work at the school. I am sure you are intelligent enough to work that out for yourself.
 
wrote
at 17:10:09 on 25 August 2010
Hmmm... Matthew, Your last comment in one way or another raised an almighty smile on my face. Why you may ask? Simple, the Oasis Church/Hope High have become more pawns in the shipping of schools from one place to another by the Local Authority. Follow the pattern: Step 1 - Close St Georges at Worsley Step 2 - Move All Hallows to Old Hope High Site (Despite the money/almagamations concerned with said site), save on development cost to pour into bright new shiny school at the quays Step 3 - Oh, I forgot we dont have a step 3 (Yet) Or was this the Financial Sweetener to get that Monstrosity Oasis were planning outside my front door. ? The whole point of the LEA shipping the High Schools into weaste/langworthy area was they could (hopefully) work together! With Hope moving to the Quays, I see that idea seems to be shelved. The change of the status of some of these schools also raises questions...I've read somewhere All Hallows (The RC High , Now a "College") is to have a Sixth Form. History has taught me if an RC sixth form was required the school would have fought tooth and nail against De La Salle's Merger with Pendleton!
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 17:09:53 on 25 August 2010
I'm still a bit confused about how a car park is of any use to school children. That is after all what is planned for the site. As for large, empty churches, are not all churches large & empty? There have always been faith schools. It's always been a great way to brainwash people from an early age.
 
Matthew wrote
at 16:55:05 on 24 August 2010
The problem with Nachtschlepper's suggestion to keep the school where it is is that Langworthy is already oversupplied with secondary school provision. It has the Oasis Academy, Buile Hill and All Hallows RC schools within 15 minutes walk of one another. There is currently no secondary school within reasonable travelling distance of the Ordsall area, which is one of the reasons for locating it on the proposed site. As for utilising the building as part of the school - this would be completely unfeasable without massive internal alterations. The Salford Central Church building was never designed to house a school catering for hundreds of young people, and any attempt to use it as such would cause immense problems on a daily basis. As for the 'faith school' issue - if that's the way you want to see it, go right ahead. Personally, I see nothing wrong with teaching young people about Christ and about the positive difference He can make to their lives and the lives of others. I would much rather young people were excited about Jesus than excited about financial and material greed, about booze and drugs or about anti-social behaviour. It might do our society a lot of good.
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 12:43:19 on 24 August 2010
So if I knock down a wall in my home to make a through longue it means that I'm not keeping the building? Another plan might just be to leave the school where it is, at Hope (oooopppps must not talk about the pat) & improve facilities on that site. As we all know though that is a non starter. After all the site is on a main bus route, is already in use as a school, is within easy reach of the local population. All good reasons to keep it where it is. The only reason to move it? Simple, it's not in Salford Quays. Oasis is not a faith school? I refer you to their website. "Oasis Community Learning is clear about the ethos and values that underpin our academies. The person and life of Christ inspire this ethos..." Sounds like a faith school to me.
 
Matthew wrote
at 12:43:03 on 24 August 2010
Yes, I am a supporter of the Oasis Trust, and of the work that it does in the UK and across the wider world. I believe that what Oasis is proposing will be a good thing for Salford, and will provide far greater benefits for the people of the local area than preserving a large empty church.
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 12:42:38 on 24 August 2010
I was under the impression the frontage as going to be left. But now it is all going. When this first went to planning it was a building of local intrest, now it is not worth keeping. This Council change their minds from day to day. Let them carry on and we will have nothing of historical intrest left for the future generations of Salford people.
 
Mike Skeffington wrote
at 12:42:18 on 24 August 2010
Matthew, I have not visited the mission building for several years and have never professed to knowing it as well as I do other places in Salford, however, I suspect that if it were in such a dangerous state of disrepair as you describe, that point would have been at the forefront of the argument for demolition, broken plaster and cracked paint doesn't constitute structural instability. Of course internal alterations would need to be made, which is not by definition demolition. It is the exterior of the building that is of central importance to those who wish to retain it. As for the Academy 'not being a faith school' well, it's founder is a Rev and it will be a 'school that is a church and a church that is a school' who's task it is, as they see it, to bring God's dimension to Salford, strangely reminiscent of the Conquistadors. As for providing Salford's young people the education they have a right to expect. This academy is intended to be on the edge of the catchment area and is intended to attract pupils from other, what Oasis and the council would call, 'more desirable' areas. Utilising the mission building is a feasible option and putting the academy on one of the other proposed sites in Salford is another. This would give Oasis an opportunity to give something tangible to Salford in one of it's 'less desirable' areas.
 
Salford Star wrote
at 19:53:44 on 23 August 2010
See Matthew's comments below...Matthew seems to know an awful lot about the URC building. Can we ask if he has a vested interest in all this - is he connected with Oasis? The architects? BSF? etc?
 
Matthew wrote
at 19:47:26 on 23 August 2010
I accept that it would be possible to, as you say, take out walls and open up the interior of the building, in fact it would be necessary if the building was to be made part of the school. However, if you do that, you are not keeping the building, are you? The moment you start removing internal walls and floors, you are by definition demolishing the existing structure and replacing it with something else, which probably will not bear any resemblance to what currently exists. It might be possible to retain the frontage and build behind it, but the rest of the building has no future. It is derelict, it is unsafe and needs the bulldozer treatment.
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 16:06:19 on 23 August 2010
So Matthew it is "too simplistic" to use the building as part of the new school? Are you saying that it is impossible to renovate the building? Having worked most of my life in the building trade I know that is not the case. So it is a warren of corridors, so what! That does not make it impossible to take down walls & open up spaces on the interior. Furthermore all buildings require maintenance & in my experience modern building techniques that tend to cut corners & do things as cheaply as possible would also entail maintenance on a regular basis. The absurdity is that rather than keep such a fine landmark you would rather tarmac the site & park cars on it. Do you not see that?
 
Matthew wrote
at 16:06:15 on 23 August 2010
Mike Skeffington, let me assure you that Salford Central Church building is very far from being 'a sound structure'. If you believe that it is, you obviously don't know it as well as you think you do. Having visited the building less than two years ago, when it was still being used by the church, I stand by my claim that it does not lend itself to modern educational use and that it would require massive rebuilding in order to bring it up to the standards required of 21st century schools. You also make the false claim that there will be no outdoor sports facilities on the site, when in fact a MUGA (multi-use games area) is proposed to be constructed next to the school. Finally, the Oasis academy is not a faith school, it is a school run by a Christian organisation, which is entirely different. It makes no faith test for admissions as do many C of E and Roman Catholic schools, and neither is there a religious requirement for staff. Face it, the Salford Central Church building has come to the end of its useful life. Time to knock it down, put the past behind us and provide the modern facilities that the local area needs and deserves.
 
Liam Starkey wrote
at 07:30:09 on 22 August 2010
I agree that Salford Central Mission is not THE most striking building in the world. Having said that it does have SOMETHING about it. It is a bit of a landmark and historic in terms of Ordsall. I am not an architect so I can't really comment on the convertability or not of of the building but I wouldn't stake much on 'genuine' attempts to incorporate it into the new scheme. Its much cheaper to knock things down and start again then retro-fit. There is of course another school of thought that says 'its a church - knock it down' and also don't bother building a god bothering evangelical school. We need to be teaching C21st Salford children about things like reason and science not sky-pixies.
 
Mike Skeffington wrote
at 07:28:41 on 22 August 2010
There seems to be two main issues here. First there is the question of retaining the Salford Central Mission building. Second is the building of a publicly funded, faith school, the Oasis Academy on that site. I don't claim to be expert in these matters, but it doesn't take a genius to see that there are solutions to both problems. The mission building is a fine example of late Victorian architecture and has been a valuable social asset over tha last century, the question now is, could it still have a useful future? the answer is yes for several reasons. The building, besides its asthetic value, is a sound structure and is a well known landmark, it's on the 'mental map' as it were. To suggest that it doesn't lend itself to 'modern educational use' is wrong, (take a look at Salford University's Adelphi Buildings). This building could and should be utilised for artistic, educational and social projects initiated by the council and Salford University. In reply to Mathew's statement that buildings are merely bricks and mortar. Well Mathew you seem to regard Westminster Abbey as more than just bricks and mortar, so doesn't that defeat your point. Of course buildings can be more than just bricks and mortar, they are a link to the past and can mean many things to lots of different people. The issue of the Oasis Academy, (faith school) has caused much controversy since it was proposed. I must state from the outset that I am not in favour of faith schools, but I would prefer to discuss that point another time. The ridiculous situation here is the location of the proposed academy. Traffic is a nightmare at the best of times in that area, there are no 'on site' outdoor sports facilities as well as the many other problems highlighted in the above article. There are other, much more suitable sites for this academy and if there seem to be 'image' issues with these sites it is the responsibility of both the council and the planners/architects to address them. It is the popular opinion amongst many Salfordians that the city planners and architects are not worth a 'tripe supper', to use an old Salford saying and these proposals a evidence of that. One final word to Derek Antrobus: I don't doubt your sincerity in this matter, but you must know that the decisions have already been made and any public consultation will be nothing more than a PR exercise.
 
JA wrote
at 07:28:10 on 22 August 2010
It's already been given a Certificate of Immunity by English Heritage, so they won't be listing it. I saw the building plans myself last week at Primrose and thought they looked very impressive!
 
Matthew wrote
at 07:26:55 on 22 August 2010
It is too simplistic to say that "the building could just be used as part of the new school". Precisely how do you suggest that this be done, given that internally it is in an appalling state of disrepair and would require almost complete reconstruction in order to bring it up to modern educational standards? Historic or not, this building is falling apart and it needs more than a paint job if it is to have a future as an educational and community facility. As well as that, it is a maze of narrow corridors and steep staircases which would be a nightmare for pupils to get around, making it a burden on the school. Due to its age, the building would also require constant maintenance, meaning that large parts of the school would be frequently out of use. Can you not see how absurd your suggestion to use the building as part of the new school is?
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 07:43:49 on 20 August 2010
We could use it as an educational centre for philistines maybe, better than a car park. Alternatively the building could just be used as part of the proposed school, it really would not take much imagination. You know they could even ask the people who live in Salford what they think. Sorry I know that is an outlandish idea. Yeah Westminster Abbey is of national importance & I am not comparing the two, I merely point out that any building is just a pile of bricks & mortar until somebody says that it is important enough to save. All some of us are asking is that some part of out history is preserved. Though like everything else in modern Britain history & heritage are becoming commodities to be bought & sold.
 
Richard Carvath wrote
at 07:43:15 on 20 August 2010
Knock it down!
 
Matthew wrote
at 11:34:43 on 19 August 2010
Nachtschlepper, to compare Westminster Abbey and Salford Central Mission is ridiculous. Westminster Abbey is a nationally important building in which many of our most famous historical figures are buried, and it is also a major tourist attraction. Salford Central Mission is none of these things. How many tourists come to Salford to visit this building? As for Ordsall Hall, I believe it is currently undergoing restoration. I would be the first to oppose its demolition, as the Hall has many potential uses. Salford Central Mission has no potential uses, at least not without almost complete demolition and reconstruction. What do you suggest should be done with the building, given that you presumably wish the building to be preserved in its current form?
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 03:26:30 on 19 August 2010
I don't know what is wrong with this city, we have in the last 5/10 years taken a bulldozer to our history in the name of progress and we are here again. Why can't we look at keeping, restoring and keeping a bit of history for future generations. No we will knock it down and build a prison like modern building that in 20/30 years if not sooner will be falling down before our eyes. We have on vision, no pride in what we have,if it is not full of glass,cladding or bits of metal knock it down. This building is not the most beautiful of buildings, but a landmark and a part of our history. But you are talking SALFORD COUNCIL,so don't expect anything else.
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 21:33:45 on 18 August 2010
Matthew, so Westminster Abbey, for example is a pile of bricks & mortar? Perhaps you have heard of Ordsall Hall, should that have been torn down years ago? You say modern facilities, did you bother reading the article? They want to demolish the building to park cars on it.
 
Cath Connett wrote
at 19:17:30 on 18 August 2010
Oh no, not another Salford landmark disappearing. It is an interesting building and should be renovated and restored - recycled not demolished. Please don't let it happen.
 
Matthew wrote
at 19:17:19 on 18 August 2010
In response to Brian F. Kirkham - the church doesn't have any 'fixtures and fittings', the interior is no more than a collection of empty rooms connected by narrow corridors and steep staircases. The idea that it could be incorporated into a 21st century school building is little more than a fantasy. It is a sad fact that buildings sometimes reach the end of their useful life, and unfortunately, this is one of those occasions. It's a building, a pile of bricks and mortar, nothing more. To deny local residents the modern facilities that would be provided by the new school, simply for the sake of preserving the URC, would be absurd.
 
Richard Carvath wrote
at 19:16:21 on 18 August 2010
P.S. Regarding the building I say flatten it. There's nothing particularly remarkable or unique about it. The Taj Mahal it ain't. There are plenty of similar buildings throughout the country so I don't see a strong argument for preserving this one in particular.
 
Derek Antrobus wrote
at 16:29:36 on 18 August 2010
Thank you for accurately quoting my opposition to the demolition of the URC. When the Council approved the outline application which gave permission in principle for the use of the site as a school, we were anxious that the detailed design should not rule out the option of retaining the existing building in some way. As our conservation officer pointed out, creative re-use of historic buildings should be the objective. The detailed design proposal has yet to be considered by the Planning Panel whose members (including me)are prohibited by law from passing judgement on a scheme until they have heard all the arguments and the evidence. One of the issues that will certainly be explored by the Panel will be whether a genuine effort hs been made to incorporate the existing building - or elements of it - into the new school and whether we are convinced by what we hear. But I am satisfied that my original concern has been addressed - I did not want the URC to be demolished and thus predetermine any judgemnt by the Planning Panel.
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 16:29:05 on 18 August 2010
I know it's only a rumour, but I have heard tell of a child at the Oasis Accademy being given lines saying "I will not talk about the past". This is typical of Salford Council's disregard for the city's herritage & lack of respect for the history of the city & it's people. There are lies, damned lies, statistics and Salford City Councils propaganda, as Disraeli might have said, or might not.
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 16:28:42 on 18 August 2010
I Kind of saw this coming.... OASIS took over the Salford Central church a while back, but they retained their name and carried on services and such in the building. I knew the Academy was to be placed Near to the URC but had no idea its footprint would overtake it! (Until of course, I saw the signs at the door) Does anyone know whats happening to the interior of said building ? - will the churches fixtures + fittings be reclaimed for the new chapel or will it just end up like the detritus that is usually created by these developments - in a skip ? Another Big Idea...Not thought through.
 
Matthew wrote
at 16:27:13 on 18 August 2010
'It now looks like this iconic Salford building will be bulldozed to make way for a car park at Oasis Academy MediaCityUK.' Good! About time too. Better a useful car park than a useless old church. I attended the consultation yesterday, and the architects explained that the possibility of incorporating the URC building into the new academy was fully explored and rejected as being unfeasible. The building doesn't lend itself to modern educational use, and any refurbishment of the building, as well as being extraordinarily expensive, would result in a structure that no longer resembles that which currently exists, slightly defeating the point of refurbishment in the first place. The only future for the building is to sit on the street corner, empty and unused. The church doesn't want to use it, and I cannot think of any other use to which it could be be put. Is preserving a 103 year-old building of greater importance than providing modern educational and community facilities for the people of Ordsall?
 
Richard Carvath wrote
at 16:25:57 on 18 August 2010
I'm an evangelical Christian and I personally think it would be highly dubious to recognise Oasis as a Christian faith school. Recognise it as a wishy-washy, trendy liberal, nominally 'Christian' school if you like but it is difficult if not impossible to identify those foundational features which would justify Oasis as being taken seriously as a truly Christian faith school. Steve Chalke and his Faithworks outfit are well known for being the liberal-lefties of the Christian world (as was evidenced at the recent General Election by Faithworks launch of its own rival to the 2010 Westminster Declaration, and by the refusal of Oasis when it hosted a Salford and Eccles hustings for Blears/Sephton/Owen to invite the evangelical Christian parliamentary candidate!). The other tell-tale sign that Steve Chalke isn't batting with the rest of us (Christians) is his involvement with and endorsement by Hazel Blears. Given that Hazel Blears has a 13 year record of red crosses on the Christian Institute website [check it out], for any 'Christian' to meet with Hazel Blears' approval the alarm bells must be ringing very loud indeed.
 
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GOVERNMENT BLOCKS SALFORD CLADDING REPLACEMENT

Star date: 21st September 2018

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