A FORMER Victorian school in Bournemouth has been transformed into a new creative hub, officially opening at the weekend.

The ex-BCCA building in Boscombe has been turned into an art hub for creative industries called The Old School House By the Sea and family housing.

A special event on Saturday saw people from the community invited to the launch to view the new facilities, learn more about the By the Sea project as well as the new affordable housing scheme, Gladstone Mews. The partial demolition of the building has proved a controversial topic over the years, with campaigners opposed to the new plans staging a mock funeral march last year.

Cllr John Beesley, leader of Bournemouth council, cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the Old School House. He said: “I am extremely pleased.

“They held a preview for interested creative industries and business on Friday night, which was extremely well attended and I think having seen what they have done to the Old School House, it is very impressive.

“We have taken a lot of advice from people who are in the creative industry and understand the requirements for such a facility.”

He also praised the housing development at Gladstone Mews, which is due to open later this year.

Both the arts hub and housing are part of the Boscombe Regeneration Project’s Backing Boscombe campaign. Cllr Jane Kelly, cabinet member for partnerships and regeneration, added: “The Old School House is looking fantastic and will be a great asset for Boscombe.

“We are lucky enough to already have a growing creative community in Boscombe as well as many talented graduates.”