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MIDDLESBROUGH: Eight classroom extension given £2.4m boost

MIDDLESBROUGH: Eight classroom extension given £2.4m boost

Image: LDRS

A MAJOR school revamp has received a £2.4m boost to welcome more than a hundred extra pupils.

The King’s Academy, in Coulby Newham, was granted the seven figure sum for an eight classroom extension in a package signed off by Middlesbrough Council leaders on Monday (May 24).

The school, rated good by Ofsted, will see temporary measures to increase its capacity by 121 pupils made permanent – with a further 128 places to come by September 2023.

Rising demand from upcoming housing developments is forecast in south Middlesbrough.

And three of the new four-strong executive team at Middlesbrough Council signed off the extra cash as part of a larger £4m package for schools across the borough.

Mayor Andy Preston was absent for the five minute meeting.

But Cllr Eric Polano and Cllr Barrie Cooper joined chairwoman Cllr Mieka Smiles in signing off the cash.

Cllr Smiles said the investment in young people was “exciting” and would ensure facilities were fit for the town’s youngsters.

The council is responsible for major schemes such as the replacement of substantial parts of buildings, and new works which can’t be afforded by schools themselves.

It is also responsible for ensuring there are enough places across the town.

Money for much of the work comes from the Department of Education via the council – with academies providing some funding alongside public bodies.

Cash from housing developers will also go towards work at three Nunthorpe primary schools.

Money from Section 106 deals – agreements reached between the council and developers in return for planning permission – will fund work at Chandler’s Ridge, St Bernadette’s and The Avenue.

The £750,000 will come to meet demand from the Grey Towers Village estate.

Two classrooms will be built at St Bernadette’s alongside investment from the Nicholas Postgate Academy Trust.

Meanwhile, The Avenue – part of the James Cook Learning Trust – has remodelled its classrooms and will carry out work on its toilet facilities to cope with rising demand.

Cllr Smiles added: “It’s really important this money stays in the communities affected.”

Elsewhere, Priory Woods School will receive £350,000 to investigate and repair its boiler and heating system.

Problems with leaking pipes sparked a closure in December.

Structural troubles at the Whinney Banks Primary School clock tower will also be propped up with a £100,000 cash boost.

Ahead of the meeting Cllr Smiles, who represents Nunthorpe ward and is executive member for communities and education, hailed the “inspirational teachers and happy children” at the village’s schools.

Independent Cllr Jon Rathmell, who also represents the Nunthorpe ward, said he took up the fight for primary school funding five years ago – adding it was a “huge issue”.

“This will make such a huge difference for the families of children who attend these schools,” he said.

Words: Alex Metcalfe, Local Democracy Reporter

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