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Former Welshpool school sells for four times guide price at auction

A former Welshpool school, which created a storm of interest from prospective buyers when the five classroom listed building was put up for auction, has sold to local buyers.

The former Ardwyn School, Red Bank, Welshpool, sold for more than four times the guide price of £85,000-plus.

Listed by Newport, South Wales-based Paul Fosh Auctions the property, which comprises of five, self contained classrooms and extensive playing fields, sold for £356,000.

Adam Smith, a director of Shrewsbury-based property development company Homesmiths, who have bought the former school, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity to bring further investment into Welshpool. Being Welsh speakers, we were seduced by the history of the school and also its unique design. 

“We are looking to undertake a sympathetic and high-quality conversion of the former classrooms into new homes. As a company we specialise in the renovation of historic and listed buildings and we are really looking forward to preserving this special property for future generations.

 “The existing pedestrian route at the former school, aptly named the ’wiggly path’, through the site will now be retained. We look forward to working with the Town Council and local residents in future.”

Debra Bisley, of Paul Fosh Auctions, said there had been keen interest in the property ahead of the sale which carried on through to the auction.

Debra said: “The lot attracted some 68 watchers with a staggering 123 bids from eight bidders each, it would seem. as determined as each other to secure the property. It was a star lot of the auction as it created so much interest and such strong bidding and delivered such a good result.

“The listed school building comprises of five, self-contained classroom blocks. What makes this former school of particular interest is that the  building was architecturally designed to make best use of natural light. The five classrooms form separate blocks, each with its own classroom facilities. 

“The blocks all contain independent entrances but are also connected to the main assembly hall by corridors and covered walkways. Subject to the relevant consents the building may lend itself to further development. 

“Alternative uses may include but are not limited to, five independent bungalows, assisted living accommodation, office space, a leisure facility for a dance studio, gym, yoga studio.

“There is a  large car park with children’s playground at the front of the former school and at the rear is the former playing fields being a large parcel of sloping land of which the majority is well maintained grass. 

“Additionally, there is a small tree covered area to the rear of the site and a further area of land used previously for grazing. Subject to the relevant consents, the land may lend itself to further development.

“Situated in the scenic market town of Welshpool which is ideally located close to the Welsh/ English border and benefits from good transport links. The town is well located to allow access to the A483 and A458 and the national motorway network. The property is located within 20 minutes walk of Welshpool station, providing good connections to Wales and the rest of the UK.

The site is positioned in an elevated location and offers scenic, panoramic views over the town of Welshpool and beyond and extends to more than four acres.”

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