Community campaigners are celebrating after a much-loved former school building was saved from the bulldozer.
For the past three years the old Hawthorn Junior School, in Llandaff North, has been threatened with demolition.
Following the amalgamation of the infant school and junior school, the building was empty while local residents lobbied Cardiff council to ensure it remained a focal point for the community.
And it has now been confirmed the Victorian-era building will be given a new lease of life – as a school.
Cardiff Steiner School – which focuses on the importance of learning to play, socialise and listen rather than reading and writing – is set to move in after Christmas.
Stephanie Wilkins, chair of the Llandaff North Residents’ Association, said: “I’ve just been e-mailing a gentleman who lives in Shrewsbury, who’s from the area, and he saw our posters on a visit and he got in touch and sent us money. I’ve also had someone from Australia who was back for a visit and saw it was all boarded up, went on Google and found our campaign website.
“People feel very strongly – it’s part of their history, part of the history of the place. It’s very important to people.”
She said the Steiner school appeared to be good candidates to takeover the building, because residents were already used to it operating as a school, and also because they were keen for community involvement.
The school, which is currently being renovated, is accepting applications for January 2013 for children aged three to 10. Cardiff Steiner also run a parent and toddler group and is exploring the possibility of opening an extra class for children aged 10 to 12.
Miranda Knight, from Cardiff Steiner, said: “We are over the moon to be making Hawthorn Junior school our new home, and look forward to building on our close links with the fantastic Llandaff North community who have worked so hard to save this beautiful building.
“It’s great news for us that we’ll be growing our Steiner school in such a supportive community, where locals have fought and won this brilliant campaign. There will be dedicated spaces in the school that will be available for community use, and we look forward to forging a strong relationship with the residents of Llandaff North over the coming years.”
Llandaff North councillor Siobhan Corria added: “Hawthorn Junior School has always been at the heart of Llandaff North and the fact that the building has been saved is testament to the residents who fought hard to ensure the building remained.”
Anyone who wants to find about more about Steiner education can visit Cardiff Steiner at its current home St Anne’s School, in Croft Street, Roath. A harvest fair takes place on October 20 from 12pm to 4pm and an Open Day on November 17 from 10.30am to 2pm.