Withernsea High School in East Yorkshire, a 1,000-place secondary school, hosted an official turf-cutting ceremony on 10 December 2014 to mark the start of the construction work to replace its old, dilapidated school building.
The school is 1 of 9 projects in the region to get underway as part of the government’s £2.4 billion Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) to rebuild or refurbish 260 of the schools in England in the worst condition.
Thanks to the PSBP, pupils attending the school are set to benefit from a £13 million investment which will provide a new, 3-storey school building and refurbish part of the existing building.
Schools Minister David Laws said:
The start of construction work at Withernsea High School marks a key milestone for the PSBP in East Yorkshire and an exciting phase in the development of the school.
Delivering great new schools will help to build a stronger economy and a fairer society, so that every young person across the region can get on in life.
Vital building work is taking place at schools in the worst state across the country. We are making excellent progress with 14 schools now open in new buildings.
Excited students and staff from the school were joined by the town mayor, council dignitaries, representatives from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and the contractor, BAM Construction, for a turf-cutting ceremony to celebrate the start of work.
Richard Williman, Headteacher of Withernsea High School, said:
Having worked so closely with the EFA, BAM and the local authority on the planning of our new school, seeing the cutting of the first turf is a really exciting day. This development will have such a profound impact on the whole Withernsea community that today has even greater significance. We look forward to seeing the building evolve over the next 18 months.
Paul Cleminson, Project Director for BAM Construction, said:
We understand how much these facilities mean to the community in Withernsea, as well as to the school itself. We’ll be making every effort during the build to make sure the broader community knows what’s going on, and also benefits economically and socially from the work we are doing here. From our considerable experience in this sector we know that a new school is a very significant thing for a community and we appreciate that our approach to building it has to be as professional as the technicalities of the construction. We’re looking forward to getting involved and making a rapid start.
The school’s new building is due for completion by in summer 2015, and the full site is expected to be completed by summer 2016. In total 10 schools will be rebuilt or refurbished under the PSBP in East Yorkshire area. Withernsea High School is 1 of 4 projects being rebuilt or refurbished by BAM Construction across the region.
The government is determined to raise the standard of schools and the education they provide as part of its plan for education. The PSBP is building on the progress already made in delivering a more efficient, faster, less bureaucratic approach to building schools.
As of December 2014, 14 PSBP schools have now opened in new buildings, and 59 schools are currently under construction.
Given the success of the PSBP, the government has announced a second phase of the programme, worth around £2 billion.
Applications are currently being considered and successful applicants will be confirmed early next year.
Notes to editors
- The PSBP is a centrally managed programme set up to address the condition of the schools most in need of urgent repair. Through the PSBP, 260 schools will be rebuilt or have their condition needs met.
- Over the course of this Parliament, the government is allocating £5 billion to local authorities to support the provision of new school places and £2.8 billion for the maintenance of the school estate to meet the needs of maintained schools and academies. Over the spending review period, the total capital made available for investment in schools in England will be about £18 billion.
- Given the success of the PSBP so far, in May the government announced a further £2 billion to address condition needs in some of the worst school buildings across the country. Applications are currently being considered and successful applicants will be confirmed early next year.