Investment in school site for new generation of resort pupils

An artists impression showing an aerial view of Armfield Academy
An artists impression showing an aerial view of Armfield Academy
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Work has begun to create a new school for Blackpool after plans for the Armfield Academy in South Shore were approved.

Demolition crews are now on site at the former Arnold School, which is being redeveloped through a mix of renewal and refurbishment.

A ‘soft strip’ of buildings earmarked for bulldozing has begun, while areas including the existing junior school, the sports halls, the design and technology building and the Memorial Hall will be retained and refurbished.

Conlon Construction has been appointed as the main contractor for the scheme being paid for by the Education and Schools Funding Agency.

The first intake of pupils will be in September 2018 and they will move into the former Arnold Primary School following a full renovation.

In the first year there will be 160 Year 7 pupils, 60 reception pupils and a nursery class.

Not all the work will be complete by 2018, with further development over time. When it reaches full capacity, the academy will provide facilities for up to 1,280 pupils aged between two and 16 in nursery, primary and secondary education.

The Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT), which will run the school, is holding an open evening at the Pleasure Beach on Tuesday November 28 between 5pm and 7pm for parents of reception and nursery age children.

John Topping, community relations and estates lead for FCAT, said: “The contractors are in place and a soft strip of some buildings has begun.

“Everyone is very excited to see work start, and we are looking forward to seeing our first cohort of children starting in 2018.”