A POPULAR school in Grasscroft for children with autism is asking locals to help them look for a suitable property for their new home.
Bright Futures School, on Oldham Road, is already looking at potential premises – both residential and commercial – which would be suitable for up to 20 students and 16 staff.
Floorspace in the current location is 281 square metres and accommodates nine pupils and 16 staff.
The new property needs to have at least ten study/work areas (larger rooms can be partitioned) and at least three toilets and a kitchen.
There will need to be plenty of outside space for students’ taxis to pick up and drop off and additional parking for up to ten staff cars. Gardens for both pupils and staff are also desirable.
They want to keep the small scale, and homely feel that is so popular with students, parents and staff alike.
The School’s proprietor rents their current building but this has now been put up for sale by the owners.
Zoe Thompson, School Proprietor and Head of Development at Bright Futures, said: “We always knew that our school’s current home would be sold sooner or later.
“However, the recent news that the landlords are putting the house on the market now has come as a bit of a surprise.
“Luckily though, we had been updating the school’s business plan to address insecurity of tenure and to raise staff wages and our ambition is to expand the school by increasing the number of places.
“So, we are treating what could be viewed as a threat as an opportunity.”
Zoe added: “We have a good idea of what we need to replace our current building and we hope to buy a property ideally in Saddleworth.
“But, given Saddleworth prices, we are also looking at Mossley, Marsden, Shaw or Slaithwaite and we would love to hear from local people who might be able to help us find what we need.
“The new school building needs to be situated where our traffic won’t bother any neighbours and where taxis can safely drop pupils off and pick them up.
“We also need to be mindful of the potential re-sale value of any building and we need to be able to move in without doing any major work to the property.
“Price-wise, we are looking at properties in the region of £600,000, and we are keen to have conversations with anyone who might be interested in helping us.
“We are a small but beautiful school with a focus on excellent quality provision. We also employ 16 local people and our pupils with autism are happy and thriving.”
Anyone with useful information please call Zoe on 01457 878738 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about Bright Futures School for children with autism online: www.brightfuturesschool.co.uk