A new £7 million primary school and £9 million expansion to a special school, are a step closer after plans were approved yesterday, (June 14th).
Funded by Somerset County Council, they are part of the biggest school building and improvements programme for generations – a £140 million investment in children and young people – formally announced in January.
The 14-class primary school at Nerrols Farm in Taunton, known locally as Northwalls Grange, will meet growing local demand for places.
It will eventually have capacity for 420 pupils and includes a 26-place nursery.
Plans were rubber-stamped today at a County Council Regulation Committee meeting and contractor Willmott Dixon is tasked with delivering the project in time for September 2019.
Also approved today was a plan for new special needs provision – a £9 million project to create an expansion for Selworthy School on the former St Augustine site.
The new Hazlebrook Campus, as it will be called, will cater for 80-100 pupils with a range of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities(SEND), including autism.
It will meet the demand for places from local children with complex additional needs and ensure they can access education much closer to home.
It will also enable families to engage more closely with the school and will help develop a sense of community.
Wilmot Dixon has also been contracted to build the school and it is due to be operational by September 2019.
The Authority plans to build 24 new or replaced and expanded schools around the county over the next seven to 10 years to meet the demand for places from the growing numbers of children and young people.
Councillor Faye Purbrick, Cabinet Member for Education and Council Transformation at Somerset County Council said: “Our ongoing school building and improvement programme is one of the largest in our County for generations – it’s about ensuring our children have new, replaced or expanded school buildings that meet their needs and the needs of our communities for generations to come.
“We remain committed to improving and enhancing the lives of all children in Somerset, whatever their abilities and challenges.”
Rob Woolcock, Director at Willmott Dixon Wales and West said: ‘It is great news that planning has been approved for both Nerrols School and the Hazelbrook Campus.
“We know the difference these schools will make to the communities in which they are located, and we look forward to the prospect of bringing the vision of these schools to life for the Council and the local community”.