The History of The Tech
The Tech as this building is now known, is a name that reflects the origins of this building which was most recently known as Holmfirth Adult Education Centre.
The idea of having a Technical Institute in Holmfirth was first proposed in 1890 as there was a ”great need for further facilities beyond the ordinary provision of elementary schools”. The cost of the building work and furnishing was around £4,000. Donations were made by Mr James Marsden, local mill owners and gentry and the Honourable Company of Cloth Workers which donated £250. Local people also contributed.
The foundation stone was laid in 1892 and the building opened in May 1894. Originally, weaving, dyeing and modelling rooms were in the basement, a science lecture room, a designing classroom, a conversation room, a library, museum and reading room on the ground floor and art rooms, an examination and lecture hall and chemical laboratory on the first floor.
In 1907, the Technical Institute was converted into a secondary school and in the 1960s it became a Further Education College. Eventually ownership transferred to Kirklees College and the building used for adult education purposes but as the public funding for this form of learning changed, the Centre’s use declined, leaving behind many happy memories of enjoyable learning and firm friendships.
In 2011, Kirklees College announced its intention to close the AEC but relented in response to the public outcry. However, despite the effort of local people to find alternative uses for the building, the College decided to mothball it about three years later. Since then, apart from very occasional use by the Film Festival, the building has stood empty and unused.
This all changed in 2018 when a group of local people put a business case to Kirklees College and set up Holmfirth Tech Ltd, an exempt charitable community benefit society, with the intent of bringing the building back Holme. Since then, the use of The Tech has continued to grow.