Construction works are officially underway at a replacement primary school within the new Westhouse Farm housing development in Bestwood, following a £5 million investment from Nottinghamshire County Council.
The new school will replace the existing Hawthorne Primary and Nursery, originally built in 1878, which is now split over two sites and does not have room for further expansion to meet an increasing demand for places.
The school will relocate from its current position in School Walk, in order to meet the growing demand for school spaces, following the announcement of a new housing development for the area. It will be positioned between the new housing development and the existing settlement of Bestwood, ensuring it is accessible for new and existing families.
The new school will provide 315 places, with capacity for expansion to 420 places in the future.
The County Council school, which is being delivered by Arc Partnership – a joint venture between Nottinghamshire County Council and Scape Group – is set to complete in summer 2019, in time for the new academic year.
Councillor Kay Cutts MBE, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Between 2013 and 2016, the County Council invested approximately £70m of Government Basic Need funding to create more than 5,500 additional permanent primary school places to meet demand and we continue to invest in the areas where it is needed, either through expanding existing sites or building new schools.
“There has been a considerable amount of new housing development in Bestwood over the last ten years, which has attracted many young families to the area. With further housing development in Bestwood outlined in Gedling’s Local Plan, it was important that we acted swiftly to ensure the extra demand for school places could be met.
“I know that children, parents and teachers can’t wait for the new school to be built and they are excited that construction work is now underway. Providing a modern, high quality learning environment for our children can only be beneficial for their education.”
Councillor Chris Barnfather, Chairman of Planning and Licensing Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, has campaigned for a new school in Bestwood for many years in his capacity as local councillor for the area.
He said: “Generations of Bestwood children have been taught at the current Hawthorne school and it has served the community well for many years but is no longer fit for purpose and is unable to cope with the growing demand for places as the village expands.
“Seeing the start of work on the new school is an exciting moment. I am thrilled for the people of Bestwood that this significant County Council investment in their community is going ahead and I am sure they will take great pride in their fantastic new school.”
The 2,000-metre squared facility design will also incorporate the opportunity for development of out-of-hours community use.
Students from Hawthorne Primary will be able to see their new school’s development, with regular site visits throughout the construction.
Funded by Nottinghamshire County Council, the project is being delivered by Arc Partnership including feasibility and design, through to project management.