A FORMER pupil, who served as Vice-Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, said he would have supported a project to renovate an abandoned grammar school if it had secured Lottery funding.

Sir Deryck Maughan, who spent more than a decade at The Treasury, before moving to Goldman Sachs and later New York's Wall Street, returned to Richmond's Old Grammar School along with his brother David, earlier this week.

Originally from County Durham, the pair were educated at the former school towards the end of the 1950s, when their family took over The Fleece Hotel in the town.

After leaving the school, Sir Deryck went on to Kings College London while his brother attended the College of Ripon and later York St John University.

Decades later, the pair made an emotional return to the now abandoned school, calling for its renovation into a community space.

Ten years after it ceased operating as a school, plans for its use as a community space were launched by the Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust.

But following an unsuccessful bid for Lottery funding in June, a two-year fundraising effort was halted.

At the visit, Sir Deryck said: "It would be an act of folly if this building were not brought back to life to serve the community – I would have been pleased to honour my brother and everything he has meant to me throughout my life be making an endowment to our old school."

“The Grammar School was fundamental to how I think and was the foundation of all that followed in my life – I was swept away by a wave of emotions when I visited the school.

Sir Deryck, who this year retired from Wall Street and donated a substantial amount of money to Kings College London, claimed he would have supported renovation efforts if they had been approved for funding.

He added: "Every room seemed to crystallise a specific memory of a teacher, a class or a place where we would gather – every room had a different resonance."

Sir Deryck's brother, David added: "The Grammar School gave me very many happy memories.

"The school and its ethos have been fundamental to my whole life.

"A lot of memories came flooding back during our visit.

"It would be very sad indeed if the building were not to be restored."

The Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust said the school remains in ownership of Richmondshire District Council, but said it continued to run its 'highly successful' The Station project in the town.