Building of school may start this year

An artist's impression of what the new Bedlingtonshire Community High School will look like.
An artist's impression of what the new Bedlingtonshire Community High School will look like.

Work on a new high school in south east Northumberland could start by the end of the year.

Plans for a new building at Bedlingtonshire Community High School are progressing after a formal planning application was submitted.

The decision to move the school to new premises came after government funding was approved last year.

Plans have been submitted to Northumberland County Council on behalf of Miller Construction for the redevelopment of the school.

The plans will see a new building which will consist of three blocks, A, B and C located next to the current building, which is set to be demolished and replaced with a new sports pitch and recreational facilities.

The blocks will ‘plug in’ to a main building with large areas such as halls, kitchen and dining spaces, and sports facilities.

Block A will include standard classrooms, block B combines standard classrooms with a large open plan space in the centre such as a Learning Resource Centre, and block C will offer larger classrooms.

The report to planners states that the block system will allow for the ‘simple expansion of a number of classrooms, corridors and staircases’.

The development will include the provision of a new football pitch, a multi-use area accommodating three tennis courts and two netball courts, a new indoor sports provision including a four-court sports hall, dance studio and gym.

A 118-space car park has been proposed, and covered cycle storage facilities will be located close to the building entrances.

The new school’s location will allow direct access from Palace Road, as well as a drop-off point on the same road.

On the school’s website, headteacher Stephen Griffiths said: “We are currently in the process of receiving a new build for our school which will see our pupils study in a state of the art purpose built environment which will suit every need of our students.

“The school has extensive grounds and playing fields which are set up for football, rugby, athletics and rounders.

“Other sports facilities include a sports hall, gym both indoor and outdoor, dance studio and fitness room.”

Northumberland County Council hope to have a decision made by end of October, with completion by September 2015.