Back to school for Higginshaw pupils

Over 60 visitors, many of whom ex-pupils, attended our Heritage Open Day event on Friday 13th September at the Groundwork Environment Centre building, formerly Higginshaw School.

Ex-pupils back at Higginshaw as part of the Heritage Open Day event.
Ex-pupils back at Higginshaw as part of the Heritage Open Day event.

Visitors were taken on a tour of the building and experienced one of the old classrooms set up with original desks. Some of the visitors to the event were pupils at Higginshaw School as far back as the 1940’s.

The event was a special celebration looking back at both the history of the Environment Centre building and of the past 30 years of Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale. The building has served the Oldham community for over 100 years and continues to be a base for learning and training.

It was wonderful to have such a buzz in the building with so many ex-pupils or students recounting some of their memories of happy times at the School, and seeing so many of them clearly having enjoyed their afternoon with us.

The Grade II listed Groundwork Environment Centre was built in 1866 and was formerly the Higginshaw School from 1870 to 1983. Many generations of local children have passed through the distinctive red brick ‘Higgi’ building. After the school closed the building was later used as a performing arts centre for a short while. During that time various students passed through its doors, who later went onto careers on the stage and in film including Jane Horrocks, Sarah Lancashire.

The Groundwork Environment Centre

Groundwork took over the running of the building in 1997 and brought it back into use as a community asset and base for their charitable operations. We continue to run training courses and community events from the building including volunteering, construction classes and environmental management training for businesses.


Written by Stuart Brierley, Finance & Corporate Services Director at Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale.


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