Former pupil boosts major building project at old school

A former pupil of a Shrewsbury school has travelled from his home in The Bahamas to see a major building project which has been made possible due to his generosity.

David Blackburn OBE, who is now 83 and attended Prestfelde School in the 1940s, recently made a substantial donation to enable a new chapel and theatre to be constructed.

He returned to the London Road school to view building work, which is due to be completed early next year.

“This is a very exciting development project for Prestfelde - it will considerably enhance our facilities and we are very grateful to Mr Blackburn for his donation,” said headmaster Mark Groome.

“The new building will be a chapel and theatre and will include a multi-functional hall, retractable seating for 280, a refurbished five-stop organ, a stage for performances and a contemplation area which will be also used as the ‘Green Room’ for performances.

“It will provide us with a very impressive facility, with the capacity to cater for a total of 350 people, which will boost drama within the school and be a great base for concerts, plays and numerous school functions, as well as chapel services and assemblies,” he said.

Mr Blackburn has been involved in a number of high-profile business ventures, setting up Colt Cars with Mitsubishi, where he remained as one of the major shareholders until recently. Now based in the Turks and Caicos Islands, he has homes in Majorca, Germany and Co Cork, where he owns a top horse-racing establishment.

A fund-raising campaign to supplement his donation to the Prestfelde building project is now underway, with a ‘buy-a-chair’ campaign just launched.

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