We REJECT the Council’s plan for The Gower. GHEF remains committed to re-establishing The Gower building as an asset to the community.

News Release: MP backs residents against council plan for The Gower

Telford MP Lucy Allan has come out in support of a local campaign to reject council plans for a Grade II listed building in St Georges, Telford.

Known locally as The Gower, the much-loved building has a long history that has touched the lives of many people since its cornerstone was laid in 1873. Following periods as a school and youth club, local people came together to save The Gower from demolition and a charity formed to bring the building back into use. Lynne Shepherd who chairs the management group said, “We’ve put a lot of effort in to prevent further deterioration of the building. Including repeated attempts at vandalism and infestation by pigeons.”

Gower Heritage and Enterprise Foundation (GHEF) has developed an ambitious plan which would see a multi-purpose wellness centre created. “It would meet the needs expressed by local people during consultation and open the next chapter in the history of The Gower,” said Lynne.

Lucy Allan fully supports local residents on this issue. She said, “I think it is fundamental that the Council listens to local residents. I am concerned that the Council believes this is a suitable site for their own Nuplace Housing Scheme, and that this money making housing scheme has suddenly led to them withdrawing their support from using this historic and much loved building for community purposes.”

Richard Overton, Chair of St Georges & Priorslee Parish Council said, “This is what St Georges needs really. It needs a hub to bring life so that the youth have got somewhere to go. And people love the building. Its heritage is there. It’s a listed building and we can develop that history into the beating heart of St Georges.”

GHEF’s plan extends the existing building to provide education, training and wellbeing for all. The project has attracted funds from Power to Change to enable GHEF to utilise professional expertise in developing a sustainable business plan to provide services to north Telford.

“Such a major project obviously relies on support from local authorities”, Lynne added. “Both Telford and Wrekin Council and St Georges and Priorslee Parish Council seemed to be on board as key partners. Telford had ‘set aside’ £650,00 for us to use as match-funding but that’s all changed now.”

Applications TWC/2021/0722 and TWC/2021/0724 have been submitted by Nuplace Ltd. to the Telford and Wrekin planning authority for the erection of 14 new dwellings and conversion of The Gower building to provide 3 new dwellings, a community facility and parish council offices.

“It feels like a slap in the face,” said Lynne, “after all the fundraising and volunteer hours we’ve put in to come up with a workable plan. I urge everyone to reject the council plans for The Gower.”

Lucy added, “There are many suitable sites in Telford for Nuplace housing, The Gower is not one. Further, they cannot as a Council be deciding on planning consent for their own scheme and simply ignoring residents. I would be pleased to take this up with Robert Jenrick and submit an objection.”




  • Robert Jenrick is Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • Gower Heritage & Enterprise Foundation is a charity registered in England and Wales No. 1167678 – Contact Rob on 07985 398600.
  • Nuplace Ltd. are a lettings company, owned by Telford & Wrekin Council.
    Power to Change is an independent charitable trust that supports and develops community businesses in England.
  • In developing The Gower Project plans, GHEF engaged with The Architectural Heritage Fund which is a registered charity, founded in 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas.
  • The Gower Telford Project Prospectus (PDF)
  • The Gower Info Sheet 2021 (PDF)
  • Planning applications TWC/2021/0722 and TWC/2021/0724 consultation expires 19/08/2021.
Object to the planning applications

You may recall . . .

. . . that the building was originally built as a hospital by the Lilleshall Company who realised that a facility like this was needed for the wellbeing of its employees. However, things change and a smaller Cottage Hospital was built just a hundred yards away on Albion Street which provided local health care for some years. The Gower building was purchased from the Lilleshall Company to become a school known as Wrockwardine Wood Junior School. It provided education and learning to local children until it closed in 1961. The building continued to serve young people in St Georges and neighbouring districts when it was utilised as a Youth Centre and local venue, much loved throughout the community.

Join the Street Team

Contact Lynne on 07985 398600 to get active in securing the future of our iconic building.

What success looks like

On the grounds:

  • Children’s Play Park
  • Open green space
  • Allotment
  • Man Shed
  • Sensory Garden

Within the building:

  • Full operational community facility
  • Work from home space
  • Cafeteria
  • Rooms for hire
  • Wellbeing and Drop in services
    • Library
    • Health
  • Training opportunities
  • P/F Time employment


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