The works required to expand Rushcliffe Spencer Academy have been given the green light by Nottinghamshire County Council. The multi-million pound development, which was given planning approval by Rushcliffe Borough Council last year, will see an additional 560 secondary school places created and provide the school, and local community, with a new improved sports facility.
The expansion will comprise of: a new teaching block with dining facilities, sports hall and associated changing facilities; remodelling works to existing buildings; improvements to external areas such as school access, car parking and landscaping; and relocation of grass roots pitch areas. The demolition of the former 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.
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.”
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”.
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”.
The County Council’s Cabinet for Economic Development and Strategic Asset Management approved funding of an additional £27million to deliver the works, to be covered by the Council’s basic need allocation budget and housing developer contributions.
Councillor Keith Girling, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Strategic Asset Management, said: “Building and expanding schools is one of the key ambitions of this council. There is no better investment than securing children 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.”
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.”