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Consultation on the site of the former King James School, Bishop Auckland

We wanted your views on the proposed change to the former King James' School Foundation Trust to allow the trustees to look at alternative uses for the building.


King James School in Bishop Auckland was run as a charitable trust to offer enhanced educational opportunities for young people living in the former Bishop Auckland Urban District area.

While the former King James School closed in 2000 due to falling numbers, the charity's governing document says that the site must be used for education, which limits what can be done with the disused building and land. We have supported the trust to find alternative uses for the building but these limitations and unsuccessful funding bids mean that no project has been successful.

To relax the limitations, and allow redevelopment of the site for non-educational use, the trust must first consult and then seek agreement from the Charity Commission. As the building is a grade II listed building, we will also take this into account.

What we consulted on

This consultation was carried out on behalf of the Trust. As the Trustee, we were giving you an opportunity to comment on our proposal, which was to:

  • change the governing document to give the Trustees a power of sale
  • separate the building from the Trust
  • allow the Trustees to dispose of designated land without replacing it

Next steps

Based on the feedback from this consultation, the Trust has made a formal application to the Charity Commission for a new charitable scheme. The Scheme will enable the charity to sell the former King James School building and use any endowment on education grants for the local area. The Scheme is available to view here below:

The opportunity to submit comments or representations on the draft scheme has now finished and we are in the process of authorising the scheme.

Contact us
King James School consultation
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