Two Hartlepool schools - Manor College of Technology and Barnard Grove Primary School - hosted official turf cutting ceremonies today (9 October 2014). This marked the start of works to renovate their buildings as part of the coalition government’s Priority School Building Programme (PSBP).
Both the schools’ dilapidated buildings are being completely renovated as part of the £2.4 billion programme to rebuild 261 of the schools in England in the worst condition.
Thanks to the programme, students attending Manor College, a 1,250-capacity mixed secondary school, are set to benefit from a new £14 million 3-storey ‘super block’ comprising of updated teaching facilities and a specialist block for 30 pupils with learning difficulties. The renovations also include a major refurbishment of the sports hall and a new multi-use games area.
The new £2.8 million 2-storey building at Barnard Grove Primary School will provide places for 315 pupils, as well as a 26-place nursery.
Schools Minister David Laws said:
The start of construction work at both Manor College and Barnard Grove Primary School marks a key milestone for the Priority School Building Programme and an exciting phase in the development of the schools.
Delivering great new schools will help to build a stronger economy and a fairer society, so that every young person in Hartlepool 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 6 schools already open and all 261 schools to be completed by the end of 2017.
Excited students and staff from both schools joined council dignitaries, representatives from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and the contractor, Kier, for turf cutting ceremonies to celebrate the start of work.
At the ceremony, Mrs Anne Malcolm, principal of Manor College, said:
This is such an exciting time for the Manor family and we are thrilled by the plans for our new school; they are amazing. The whole process has been carefully managed by the EFA and with the support of the local authority, the project is going ahead with little impact upon the school community. Pupils, staff and governors are eagerly anticipating the brand new facilities.
Mr Lee Walker, headteacher at Barnard Grove, said:
We’re delighted that work has started on our new school. Excitement is already building at the prospect of us moving into facilities that will provide our children with the best possible environment for learning. The support of our governing body and the local authority has been crucial in getting us to this long-awaited day, and we look forward to Barnard Grove Primary School continuing to be at the heart of our community.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us; we can’t wait until next summer when we can move into our new building and start the next chapter in Barnard Grove’s history.
Councillor Chris Simmons, chair of Hartlepool Council’s Children’s Services Committee, added:
The council has provided support and encouragement to both Barnard Grove Primary School and Manor College in their bid for new schools and we are delighted that work is about to get underway.
Creating the very best, most stimulating learning environment for students is so important. This is what will be created at both sites and I’m sure everyone at Barnard Grove and Manor College is very excited to be getting a new school.
Kier Construction Area Operations Manager, Gary Dobson, added:
We are delighted to be responsible for building these 2 schools - our fourth and fifth in the Priority School Building Programme for the Education Funding Agency. We look forward to creating 2 inspirational and effective learning environments for the young people of Hartlepool.
The work at Barnard Grove Primary School is due for completion in July 2015, with work at Manor Technical College continuing until September 2016. The schools are 2 of 7 being renovated by Kier in the north east of England.
This 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 and less bureaucratic approach to building schools.
In total, 6 new PSBP schools are now open, 54 schools are currently under construction and design work has begun at 257 schools. All schools will be delivered by the end of 2017 - 2 years earlier than originally planned.
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 by the end of the 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, 261 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 by the end of the year.