Great Educational Improvements Further Enhance Leicester’s Appeal
Council plans to build a new school in the Waterside area of Leicester are set to go ahead, while a nearby school site is earmarked to become an early years centre.
The plans are part of Leicester City’s Council’s major programme to regenerate the area, creating a thriving neighbourhood which is a great place to live. The first phase of the project will see the completion of more than 300 new domestic properties and around 5,500 sqm of office space. New green spaces and parks will also be delivered.
This is expected to bring in private investment totalling £45 million and will run alongside the creation of the area’s new school.
The Leicester and Leicester Enterprise Partnership have been granted £20 milllion from the UK Government’s Local Growth Fund, which will be spent on supporting the project.
The city council is planning to build the five-form entry school, set to be called Waterside Primary, on an unused council site off Fosse Road North. The proposals say that it could accommodate 900 pupils, creating an extra 400 places more than nearby Fosse and Slater primary schools. These will merge to form part of the new school.
Junior and infant-aged children will be housed in connecting wings and there will be a large area outdoors with astro turf sports courts, gardens, a wildlife area and play areas. There will also be an amphitheatre and outdoor classroom.
Planning permission has been granted for the new school and site and other enabling works are set to start shortly. The city council has yet to award the contract for construction, but work should start in May 2018. It is thought the school could be open for the start of the 2019/20 academic year.
The current Fosse Primary School will become an early years setting, offering Waterside Primary School’s foundation stage and early years provision.
The new school is expected to have a price tag of around £13 million, which will be paid for through the local authority’s Basic Need allocation,which is money from the Department for Education used to help councils fulfil their statutory obligation to be able to offer all children a school place.
The first phase of funding, totalling around £1.9 million, is in place to begin the project and move forward to when a construction contract is awarded.
Cllr Sarah Russell, who is the assistant Leicester city mayor with responsibility for children, young people and schools, pointed out that this project formed just a part of the authority’s ‘ambitious plans’, which will see the largest-ever expansion of schools in the city, with the potential for more than £90 million to be invested to ensure that Leicester has a school system to meet a growing demand for places.
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