CAMPAIGNERS fighting for the future of a former college near Stone have made their latest battle cry for help – to potential councillors and MPs.
Wedgwood Memorial College may have been closed by Stoke on Trent City Council two years ago, but the buildings remain empty and unsold, racking up a hefty maintenance bill for taxpayers.
Plans have been drawn up by Stafford Borough Council and Lichfield District Council for the future of the two sites in Barlaston, which are co-owned by Staffordshrie County Council and Stoke on Trent City Council.
The report has recommended the Edwardian Estoril House building and The Limes, a Victorian building, should be retained, as should an arboretum containing hundreds of trees.
But the remaining land could be used for housing and Estoril House and the Limes could be used by the community or an institution.
This week former college principal Derek Tatton told the Newsletter this could pave the way for a potential re-opening of the college, on a self-funding basis.
The group which fought to keep the college open has been renamed Campaign to re-open Wedgwood Memorial College and
Mr Tatton has urged the county and city council to reconsider the college’s future in Barlaston, and for aspiring candidates in next year’s Stafford Borough Council and Parliamentary elections to lend their support.
He said: “There is no sign of a sale and at least £300,000 of tax-payers’ money has been spent simply to keep buildings empty.
“We failed in keeping the college open, but we’re still interested in a reopened college.
“Courses that used to run at Barlaston are still going. Some are doing very well, despite the economic climate. Short residential courses remain quite viable.
“The key thing is to enter into discussion. It could be in everybody’s interests.”