THE name of a muchloved Hampshire school for children with complex learning difficulties will live on after villagers lobbied for its heritage to be remembered.

Unoccupied for eight years, Netley Court will keep its name after a care home developer asked Daily Echo readers to name its home for the elderly being built on the site.

Hartford Care has joined forces with Romsey-based builder Highwood Group and healthcare investor Cinnamon Care Capital to deliver the luxury 65-bed care home in Netley, due to open in March 2015.

The firm asked readers to decide on a name for the Victoria Road school and after submitting their ideas, Sheila Perry and local historian Stan Rickeard both won a £200 hamper courtesy of Romsey delicatessen dish.delikitchen for their contribution.

Stan, 89, said: “I’m really pleased that we have retained its original name. It is rather appropriate. We all try to retain our landmarks so that’s why I have made a point of keeping it.

“I’m pleased to have won the prize, and I am more than pleased that the group are retaining the original name.

Nothing else would have been appropriate.”

Sheila said: “I thought why change a good thing? It has always been known as Netley Court why change it. It is important to retain that history.”

The school closed in 2006 and has remained derelict ever since but Hartford Care wanted the community to be a part of their new project.

A spokesman for Hartford Care said they received a “fantastic number of entries”

for the competition.

Hartford Care chief executive Sean Gavin said: “I would like thank all those who took the time to enter the competition.

“We were delighted with the response we received and believe that we have chosen a truly fitting name for our new home which encompasses both the history and location of the building.”