Former Petworth school to become community centre

A new lease of life has been given to the former Herbert Shiner Intermediate School at Petworth which is about to be reborn as a community centre in the town.

Since the closure of the school, a question mark has hung over the future of the Herbert Shiner building.

But now after lengthy discussions between West Sussex County Council, Petworth Town Council and latterly, the Petworth and District Community Association, the immediate future of the old school has been secured for the people of the town.

Reborn as the Herbert Shiner Centre under the trusteeship of Petworth and District Community Association, this valuable resource can once again become a focal point for Petworth and its neighbouring communities.

“First as a secondary school and then as an intermediate school, the Herbert Shiner was always much more than a place of learning for the children of those living in and around Petworth,” said chairman of the new Herbert Shiner Centre management committee, Rowena Tyler,

“It was also a centre of community activities, from plays, concerts, evening classes, sports activities and many other social and cultural events.”

Now members of the management committee are looking to find new ways of using the premises and want to make full use of the opportunities for art, music drama and adult education.

“As a community resource, the Herbert Shiner Centre offers some of the best community facilities in the area,” said Mrs Tyler, “and it is able to accommodate a variety of activities and functions.”

The main hall, which includes a large stage with professional lighting and a sound system, is available for close seating up to 350 people for large functions.

For formal functions requiring tables and seating, 150 people can be accommodated.

For sporting functions, the main hall can be used for multi-sporting activities.

To find out more about what the Herbert Shiner Centre can offer email