£14m school bid will ‘benefit community’

An artist's impression of the new school. Below: Collegiate High.

An artist's impression of the new school. Below: Collegiate High.

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Plans for a new £14m school in Blackpool have been formally submitted to town hall bosses.

The ambitious scheme will see the demolition of the existing Collegiate High and Highfurlong schools, to be replaced by a single new school set to welcome its first pupils in September 2015.

Collegiate High School, Blackpool

Collegiate High School, Blackpool

During construction, Highfurlong pupils will remain on their existing site, but Collegiate students will use classrooms at Bispham High School, which is being merged with Collegiate to create the Aspire Academy.

Once complete, the new buildings will rise to three storeys in height, and provide 900 secondary school places and 50 places for students with special needs, with around 145 staff.

A statement accompanying the plans describes the design as “uncluttered” with the aim being “to create a welcoming environment and an impressive backdrop.”

Nearly 93 per cent of residents who attended a consultation event last month said they agreed the new facilities would boost the local area, with nearly 86 per cent calling for them to be opened up to the community at evenings and weekends.

Coun Sarah Riding, cabinet member for children and young people on Blackpool Council, said the benefits of the new building would be “overwhelming”.

“The plans are really exciting and our officers have pushed hard to make sure we get the best facilities,” she said. “We want to make sure the new school retains the best elements of both schools which are merging and that will include the performance, arts and dance ethos.

“The benefits will be overwhelming for the whole community.”

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