Students help shape future of iconic Telford hall

College students are helping to shape the future of an iconic Telford building.

The Anstice Memorial Hall in Madeley
The Anstice Memorial Hall in Madeley

The Student Council at Telford College of Arts and Technology have been having their say on plans to modernise the Anstice Memorial Hall in Madeley.

Built in 1868, it was once home to the oldest working men’s club in England.

It closed in 2014 and was bought by the town council on behalf of the town for £88,000 last year after it ran into financial trouble.

Andy Rose, regeneration officer from Madeley Town Council, visited TCAT to talk to the student council about the current plans to modernise the Victorian building and reopen it for the people of the town.

He said: “We would love to see students from TCAT involved in all aspects of the restoration.

“This could range from practical work over the next couple of years to the building such as decorating or repairs, or getting directly involved in the planning and design of the refurbished building.

“You might have a suggestion on how to involve other young people in the project who may only have had a limited access to heritage before, or design and build something that could go into the Anstice.”

He invited students to send through any ideas and promised that the Anstice team would give them all their full consideration.

Daniel Blasczyk, enrichment facilitator at TCAT, said: “Our work placement co-ordinator Joanne Green contacted Andy to suggest the idea, and I was delighted that he agreed to come in to talk to our students about this project.

“The students had a very constructive debate, with some believing it should be modernised with others believing it should keep its natural feel.

“The possibilities for the students are endless; we could have students displaying artwork in the building, contributing to the interior, and restoring the foundations as part of a work placement.

“Students can also promote the building via social media and support events held there.

“This is an exciting time for TCAT and the people of Madeley, and it’s a great way of the students giving back to the local community.”

The project has also been helped by Wolverhampton University students in their final year of studying for interior architecture and property development and architectural design technology. They worked on designs for the building as part of the major project design and exhibition module of their degree.

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