WORK is nearing completion on a major scheme to restore the roof of a historic Bronte building.

Small charity The Bronte Spirit has spent the past 12 years sourcing sufficient funds to make the Old School Room waterproof again.

In 2016 the charity succeeded in getting the two extensions to the building, in Church Street, Haworth, re-roofed.

Now work is underway on restoring the original section, thanks to grants from the Government-financed Keighley Towns Fund, the Bernard Sunley Foundation and Pilgrim Trust.

It is hoped that the final phase, being carried out by York-based Pinnacle Conservation Ltd, will be completed next month.

The latest work is costing around £150,000, which when added to the amounts spent on the extensions takes the total to just over £250,000.

The Old School Room was built by the Rev Patrick Bronte, father of the famous literary siblings, as a national school in 1832.

The extensions were added to the building in 1851 and 1871.

Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne Bronte all taught at the school.

And Charlotte's wedding reception was held there in 1854, when she married Arthur Bell Nicholls.

Now the Grade II listed premises, a stone's throw from the parsonage where the children grew up, are considered one of the most important parts of the village's literary heritage.

Averil Kenyon, chair of The Bronte Spirit, says: "We are really grateful to the sponsors for enabling us to undertake this major project as well as our architect, Stephen Dixon, of Calls Architecture, who has been so patient and supportive down the years.

"We hope that Patrick Bronte would be pleased that we've succeeded in re-roofing his national school building, a far-sighted project he undertook to educate the village’s children.

"The roof restoration will ensure that this historic building will still be available to the people of Haworth for many years to come and that a valuable community space will provide many opportunities for both families and organisations."

Liz Barker, vice chair of the Keighley Towns Fund board, says: "I am delighted to see this progress. I have great admiration for the Friends and trustees of the Old School Room and their determination to restore and preserve this much-loved building for its intended use as a vibrant community space."

In recent years the building has hosted events including exhibitions, meetings and craft fairs, and village twinning activities with representatives from Machu Pichu in Peru.