Historic Westwood school and former SJT in Scarborough could be transformed into 50 flats

An historic former Scarborough school could be transformed into 50 flats under plans submitted to the borough council.

Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 10:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 10:18 am

YPG Developments Ltd has applied to Scarborough Council to convert the former Westwood building in the town into 32 residential apartments.

A further three-storey block of 18 residential; flats would be created on the site of a former ceramics workshop near the school, along with 50 parking spaces.

The school began life as the Municipal School and became the Boys’ Grammar School (the High School for Boys). It was the first home of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round, which moved there from the library in 1976. Latterly it was a Yorkshire Coast College campus before closing in 2017.

The former school at Westwood could become flats.

The planning document supplied to the council states: “The conversion will be sensitive to the historic and protected nature of the listed building with minimal external alterations which will ensure the appearance and character of the site will not be altered significantly.

“Internally the large spaces within the former school building will be sensitively divided to provide modern living spaces whilst retaining historic features and the original layout including the hallways and classrooms.

“The large windows ae an important feature and will be refurbished and secondary glazed with slim line internal windows to achieve thermal standards.

“The high floor to ceiling heights allows for the insertion of mezzanine levels within the living spaces which will be read as contemporary additions.

The plans include a block of 18 flats on the site of a former ceramics workshop.

“The new apartment building takes its design cues from the Queen Anne Revival Style of the school building.”

Vehicles will enter and exit the site through the existing entrance onto Valley Bridge Road.

The plans are now out to consultation.

The building which housed the former college campus was opened in 1900 and was called the Municipal School, or The Muni, by locals. It was designed by notable architect Edwin Cooper and contains intricate relief panels by the sculptor Henry Charles Fehr.

It became Scarborough Boys' High School and, after a period as a Secondary Modern, its ground floor was converted to house the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1976 – a “temporary” lease that lasted for 20 years - sharing space with Scarborough Technical College.

The Theatre in the Round at Westwood opened with a revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s Mr Whatnot on October 26 1976, and staged the world premiere of Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black before it transferred to become one of the most famous plays in West End history.

SJT moved home in 1996, making room for the Yorkshire Coast College campus and Scarborough School of Art.

The three-vomitorium theatre design and shape was created for the move to Westwood, and was then reproduced exactly at the new Stephen Joseph Theatre venue, at the former Odeon cinema on Northway.

Famous alumni of Westwood include novelist Storm Jameson and author Leo Walmsley.