Plans to build new, multi-million-pound, state-of-the-art school buildings at Seaton Delaval have been revealed.
As part of its budget proposals, Northumberland County Council is allocating £21million for the new establishment, which will able to support more than 1,000 pupils and will become part of the Seaton Valley Federation of Schools, which currently includes Astley High School and Whytrig Middle School, as well as Seaton Sluice Middle School.
New school buildings will allow all students aged 9 to 18 to access more easily facilities that can often only be available to those of secondary age. Science laboratories, art and design studios and sports facilities with ICT integrated throughout 'will aid teaching and learning', it is claimed.
The plans are part of Northumberland County Council’s largest yet programme of investment - with £589million proposed over the next three years to boost the county’s economy, improve education prospects for all and create new infrastructure for the future.
Coun Wayne Daley, deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I am delighted to announce our plans for a new build at Seaton Delaval, which has been waiting too long for this much-needed investment. This ambitious plan is just part of our wider commitment to educational excellence in Northumberland.
“The buildings here are ageing and the split site is not conducive to the schools thriving into the future. We want to provide a bright future for all young people in Northumberland and, through investments such as this, we can ensure the best possible learning environments while providing best value for money.”
Coun Susan Dungworth, chairman of governors at the Seaton Valley Federation, said: “This proposed investment is fantastic news for our schools and for the whole community. Young people are our future and it is extremely important that we have the educational facilities and learning opportunities which give them the best possible start in life. I very much look forward to seeing the project develop and to the next exciting stage for the Seaton Valley Federation.”
John Barnes, executive headteacher of the Seaton Valley Federation, said: “I am ecstatic by this news. The school buildings here have been challenging for some time now and this opportunity to have a new-build fit for purpose for the 21st century is fantastic for future generations of local children.
“It will be great to have a quality building that matches the efforts of students and staff to their surroundings, enhancing opportunities to learn and develop.
“We know that there is great fondness for school buildings but what is often more important are the experiences that people have there. The schools will always be an integral part of this community. There are celebrations all round.”
Estimated demolition and rebuild costs for the schools are in the region of £21million. Construction would start in 2021.
The council’s budget will be considered by full council on February 20.