Diggers move in at former high school

Diggers have moved in on the old Aspire school in Bispham Road
Diggers have moved in on the old Aspire school in Bispham Road
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The old Bispham High School is being reduced to rubble.

Diggers moved onto the site, in Bispham Road, and started flattening the buildings earlier this week.

Work to begin demolition, which included removing windows, started in January, and was expected to take four months and cost around £350,000.

It was carried out because the buildings had started to become unsafe and a target for vandals, although there are no concrete plans for what will replace them.

Talks to demolish the empty school, which housed Aspire Academy until its move to new facilities in nearby Blackpool Old Road last year and is now dilapidated, were held in October. Just days earlier, arsonists set fire to abandoned gym equipment inside it, while youngsters could be seen inside the grounds on several occasions, with the council saying ‘damage and disruption’ had been caused by numerous trespassers. Police received several calls from neighbouring homes, including two in one night, when youths were spotted climbing on the roof at 7pm, before a bin was torched close to the sports hall at 9.20pm, a spokesman for Lancashire Police said.

“The former Bispham High School was until December 2015 utilised as a temporary facility for Aspire Academy, while that school was having a new school constructed on the old Collegiate High School site,” council papers said. “Since this date the school has remained unoccupied and is now falling into a state of disrepair. During this period, the council has had to manage and fund the premises and grounds, and ensure they are kept safe and secure.

“There have been a number of instances over recent months where trespassers have entered the building causing damage and disruption. As a result of this, the council has had to increase the number of security patrols which is resulting in increased costs.”

Around £60,000 was spent securing and maintaining the site, while business rates cost the council £99,000 per year.