Funding announced for new school building for West Town Primary Academy

Funding to the tune of £6 million has been announced by the government for a new primary school building on the former hospital site on Thorpe Road, Peterborough.

Peterborough City Council will also be contributing in the region of £500,000 towards the cost of the new school building, which will allow West Town Primary Academy to relocate and expand from its existing site on Williamson Avenue, Peterborough.

The school is being built following a successful bid to the Priority Schools Building Programme, a government scheme to re-build the schools in greatest need.

The new school will provide places for 630 pupils - double the number at the existing site.

Building work will begin in the autumn and it is anticipated the new buildings will open in September 2016, heralding the relocation and expansion of West Town Primary Academy, which will continue to be run by Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust.

Councillor John Holdich, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for education, skills and university, said: "It is fantastic news that the government has committed to providing £6 million towards the new replacement school building for West Town Primary Academy. This is money that we would have to have found to create additional places in this part of the city, so the funding is very gratefully received.

"The existing West Town Primary Academy site has become very cramped and the school is currently at capacity. The new replacement buildings will offer existing pupils and many more besides the chance to learn in modern classrooms with the best facilities that we can offer.

"The new school building will also form a key part of the re-development of the former hospital site, which will offer much-needed housing close to our city centre.

"We are spending millions of pounds every year providing additional school places to meet the ever increasing demand. Between 2013 and 2015 we will have created in the region of 3,280 extra places costing £50 million. The challenge to meet the demand continues because of the large numbers of additional children arriving in our city and the fact we have one of the highest birth rates in the country.

"This new school building for West Town Primary Academy once again confirms our commitment to offering children places at their local school, in the best quality buildings, regardless of where they live in the city."

Principal Jane Dooley, said: “Both West Town Primary Academy and Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust are delighted by the opportunity to create one of the most high profile new primary schools in Peterborough.

"The mix of funding between the government and Peterborough City Council means we are able to create a higher standard of school environment in this prominent inner city site.

“We are excited by the opportunity to provide dedicated science areas, dance, art and music studio spaces and learning hubs opening out between our classrooms.

"All of these ideas, currently designed by the architects, will ensure the children of West Town and Peterborough get a truly 21st Century educational environment, which promotes positive learning and success.

"The new building is designed to be an open, easily visible site with specific zoned areas both indoors and out, to ensure children have secure and personalised areas, creating a small oasis of stimulation and discovery right in the centre of the city.

"We will also be ensuring that the historic memorial hall is maintained as a lasting memorial as well as forming a modern community hub for the benefit, learning and recreation of the current Peterborough and West Town communities.”

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