£8m school bid set for approval

Headteacher Barbara Lund by the portable buildings used as classrooms at Unity College, North Shore, Blackpool.

Headteacher Barbara Lund by the portable buildings used as classrooms at Unity College, North Shore, Blackpool.

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PLANS for an £8m revamp of a Blackpool school look set to get the go ahead.

Councillors are being recommended to approve an ambitious scheme for new facilities at Unity College on Warbreck Hill Road, including the construction of a brand new primary school.

The proposals, which go before the committee on June 11, include a one and two-storey extension to form offices, a business hub and a new school hall.

A further single storey extension will see a new dining area and infant block built while remaining school buildings will be remodelled.

Unity headteacher Barbara Lund previously said: “We’re thrilled with the designs, they perfectly capture the ethos of Unity College. We are unique in Blackpool as we offer education from nursery up to Year 11 and these plans really reflect our needs.”

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If they go ahead, the changes will see the capacity of the school increase by 159 children, or 20 per cent. The number of staff would increase from 144 to 156.

A report to the planning committee says: “At present the school has an incoherent appearance with a range of building sizes, formats and styles linked together with later elements.

“The older building sections are now beginning to look tired and dated.

“The current proposal would see new-build development across much of the school frontage which would mask the older building elements behind.

“The new frontage would include large areas of glazing to give a light and modern feel, broken up with sections of render and rain-screen style cladding.”

Just two years ago, the school’s hopes for a new building were left in tatters when the Government’s Building Schools For The Future scheme collapsed after funding was pulled.

The new project is being funded through the Government’s Primary Capital Programme Basic Need funding.

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