Horton Old School is ready for new life to be breathed into it, with a community business plan underway. We’re looking at exciting ideas and multiple uses for the beautiful old school, providing community facilities, a place to learn on courses and workshops, indoor activities for locals and visitors as well as useful and practical services to benefit people living and working in the area. The options we’re developing will enhance Horton as a place to live and visit, and keep the village alive.
HOSCA was formalised at a public meeting on 19 July 2018 when a constitution drafted by the steering group was adopted. HOSCA membership is open to all (and not just residents in parish). Members are invited to join meetings twice a year. The community have volunteered ideas for what they would like and how they see HOSCA developing and these have all been included in the vision. Feedback is encouraged via public meetings and through the committee. Through membership and input we are actively encouraging participation in and ownership of the project. Local groups that reflect the diversity of the community are already applying to use the building for community and educational activities.
HOSCA's objectives are:
To retain the school premises for the ongoing benefit of the community.
To carry out the purpose of the original Trust indenture through educational and community based
projects, businesses and activities.
To manage the running and business of the old school as efficiently as possible with the goal of being
financially self-sustaining and independent within three years.
To operate in an open and inclusive manner that encourages participation from the whole
community which the building serves. Members will be eligible to attend any meetings.
Where has HOSCA come from?
Horton’s Church of England primary school closed in July 2017, despite fierce opposition by the whole community and local councils and organisations. In February 2018 the community met to discuss the future of the school building. A vote was held and every household received a short questionnaire to enable them to voice their views. 90% of the community responded and 95% voted to keep and use the old school.
Our plan - to restore the heart to our community through a social enterprise hub - has emerged from the community’s aspiration to regenerate and revitalise our community. The hub will provide much needed community resources and educational and business opportunities. It will be a place where all sections of the community can benefit from services (library, shop, health centre) and opportunities (workshops, outdoor education, new business ventures, superfast broadband connection).
The centre will seek to attract and retain young people and families by providing a vital link between rural and urban areas. It would support families through holiday clubs and other outdoor education and access to local programmes (community orchestra and theatre groups).
Losing the school was a huge loss to the village but we have moved through the grieving process and we now want to use the school building to heal the community, replacing decline and neglect with pride and with heart. The project will safeguard and enhance the parish’s resilience by improving village facilities, and promote a sense of common ownership and collective effort for the good of the community.
Horton is an ancient settlement in the Upper Ribblesdale area in the south west corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The compact village with its outlying farms nestles between the famous Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent mountains. It is home to some 420 people. Residents feel passionately about the beautiful area in which they live and work. The area is nationally renowned for its landscape and geology. A lot of visitors are attracted to the area to walk, run or cycle the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks trail, or go on the scenic Settle to Carlisle railway which runs through Horton.