A major expansion at Rushcliffe Spencer Academy in West Bridgford has been given the green light.
The school joins a long list of schools across the county that will see millions of pounds invested by Nottinghamshire County Council over the next 12 – 18 months, ensuring children in Notts get the best possible education in modern, well-equipped schools.
The multi-million-pound expansion at Rushcliffe Spencer Academy will see an additional 560 secondary school places created and provide the local community with a new improved sports facility.
Hundreds of school places are needed following the addition of thousands of new homes in the catchment area in recent years.
The County Council’s Cabinet for Economic Development and Strategic Asset Management approved funding of an additional £27 million to deliver the works to be covered by the Council’s basic need allocation budget and housing developer contributions.
Contractors Morgan Sindall will deliver the scheme for The Spencer Academies Trust with Arc Partnership managing the works on behalf of the County Council.
Councillor Keith Girling, Cabinet Member for Economic Development Asset Management, said:
“Building and expanding schools is one of the key ambitions of this council. There is no better investment than ensuring children to get a good education.
“This is an investment in our children’s future. The next few years will be an exciting time for school developments, with expansions and improvements planned across the county, and it is a development that I’m fully behind.
“The approval for expansion of Rushcliffe Spencer Academy addresses the growing demand we’re seeing for secondary school places in Rushcliffe.”
The expansion will comprise a stand-alone new teaching block with dining facilities and sports hall and associated changing facilities, remodelling works to existing buildings, and improvements to the external area such as school access, car parking and grassroots pitch areas. The demolition of the existing Rushcliffe Leisure Centre is also included in the works.
More than 50 new jobs will be created for local people in both teaching and support roles, to meet the needs of the growing school population.
County Councillor Jonathan Wheeler for West Bridgford South welcomed the funding and commitment from the County Council:
‘Obviously I am delighted that the County Council has committed this funding to enable the expansion of Rushcliffe School.
“I have met several times with the Cabinet Member and with officers and really appreciate their support in enabling us to build this new building on the site of the former lesuire centre and ensure we have a supply of secondary school places to meet local needs.’
Councillor Girling added: “Nottinghamshire has a strong workforce so it’s great the project will create jobs and opportunities to aid the local economy. The new sports provision will be open to local community groups and clubs and will cement the schools place at the heart of the community.”
Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Tracey Taylor, said: “This council is strongly committed to investing in schools across Nottinghamshire and providing sufficient school places.
“It’s fantastic news the expansion has been approved – the project will deliver an additional 450 secondary places and 110 sixth form places, increasing the school’s current capacity by over a third. I’m sure this is very welcome news for residents in the West Bridgford and Ruddington areas, and I look forward to the project getting underway soon.”
Paul West, The Spencer Academies Trust CEO, said, “We are delighted that our strategic partners at Nottinghamshire County Council have given agreement to undertake this project, which means that Rushcliffe Spencer will be able to meet the demand to educate more local children, and ensure that local families get the education provision that they deserve”.
Damian Painton, Principal at Rushcliffe Spencer Academy, said: “Getting to this stage has taken years of work by a great many people. I’m delighted that council members’ decision will enable more local children to come to our school and will ensure that pupils at Rushcliffe continue to have access to World Class facilities in support of their education.”
Fraser Mitchell, Secondary Director for The Spencer Academies Trust, commented: “The new facilities, in addition to serving significantly more pupils during the school day, will cement Rushcliffe Spencer’s place at the heart of the West Bridgford community. They include a new sports hall and all-weather pitch that will welcome community users of all ages, alongside the existing arts and sports facilities already on site. This really is great news for everyone”.