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Work starts on new £14m academy and special school

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Work has begun to create a new £14m school for Blackpool.

Developers Carillion plc have now moved on the site at Collegiate High School, on Blackpool Old Road, to start work on a new £10m building to house the merged Bispham and Collegiate secondary schools.

And another £4m is to be spent on developing brand new facilities for neighbouring school Highfurlong Special School.

John Topping, acting headteacher at Collegiate, said: “To see a new school unfold is very exciting, certainly for the ones moving over there when it opens.

“The new school will bring together, under one roof, the combined heritage and traditions of two well-established schools.”

The build is part of the Government’s £2.4 billion Priority School Building Programme to rebuild 261 of the schools in England in the worst condition. It is set to be completed by July 2015.

Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove said: “I am delighted that construction has started.

“This programme is ensuring vital building work takes place at some of the most dilapidated schools across the country.

“It is providing much better value for money than previous school building schemes, while making sure children are able to learn in a safe and secure environment.”

The two schools, with 900 youngsters at the secondary school and 50 at the special school, will share a reception area and will open up some of the facilities for use by the surrounding community too.

Rosie Sycamore, acting headteacher at Highfurlong School, said: “Everyone at Highfurlong School is delighted at the prospect of the new school building and its enhanced learning environment.

“Furthermore, the new facilities will be a resource which will be available for use by the wider community in Blackpool.”

Mark Nicholson, operations director at Carillion, said: “Carillion is delighted to be starting work on this exciting project, which will help to transform education in Blackpool and create a stimulating new learning environment.”

 

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