Nidderdale High School’s new £16,000 bus will now be available for community use as part of the joint funding venture to obtain the vehicle.
The purchase was contributed to by various community groups, including Dales Integrated Transport Alliance (DITA), the Half Moon Inn, Nidderdale Plus, and the school’s Parents, Teachers and Friends Association (PTFA).
As a result of this, community groups will be able to book the minibus when it is not being used by the school.
Headteacher Ian Simpson said: “The school hasn’t ever had a minibus to my knowledge, so we felt it was something that was important to give a bit more flexibility about what we can do extracurricularly.
“That’s not just sport, but it can support the curriculum as well because our geography, biology, art, and photography students often need to go out in the field. It opens up a lot of opportunities.
“We had no budget for it so the PTFA set this as their target to raise the money for the minibus.”
As part of the community fundraising venture to raise money for the minibus the PTFA put on a 1940s evening, cycling and bingo events, and held jumble sales.
The Half Moon Inn at Fellbeck did a home backing and horticultural auction last year, raising £1,000, and Nidderdale Plus applied and successfully obtained a £6,000 grant.
Mr Simpson said: “And all the signage on the bus was done through a sponsorship by C H Electrical, so it has not come out of the school budget but out of the community supporting the project.
“What can happen is that any community group can now ask to hire the bus at a subsidised rate and they can do that by applying through Nidderdale Plus.
“So in the school holidays and at weekends we hope that rather than sitting in the school car park it gets used by the community.”
As transport can often be a problem in the rural areas in Nidderdale, Nidderdale Plus said the grant they managed to obtain may help towards this.
Nidderdale Plus partnership manager Katy Penn said: “The grant was specifically for supporting transport for young people in rural areas, so it seemed appropriate that it was supporting the school and I know that the school is keen for any community organisations to use the bus.
“It was an opportunity to support the school in providing transport for young people and it gives people more options.
“So, if you are running a scout group or another club it may be that transport is an issue when you are looking at trips and this is another option that is available in the Dale rather than relying on parents.”