£4m to be spent on new facilities at schools in Dewsbury and Heckmondwike

Kirklees Council is set to spend more than £4.5million on high-quality new facilities for schools in the district.

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 11:18 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 11:21 am
Thornhill Community Academy

Cabinet members are being asked to approve the investment, which would ensure all Kirklees families can access a school place and would benefit thousands of children for many years to come.

Several secondary schools have welcomed extra pupils over recent years, accommodating short-term rises in demand across their local communities.

The proposals would help those schools to deal with higher numbers while also improving facilities for the longer term and supporting children to fulfil their potential.

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The biggest project would be at Manor Croft Academy in Dewsbury, but vital works would also take place at Thornhill Community Academy, Westborough High School in Dewsbury, Headlands CE (VC) J, I and N School in Heckmondwike, North Huddersfield Trust School, and Reinwood Infant and Nursery and Reinwood Junior School in Huddersfield.

Coun Carole Pattison, cabinet member for learning, aspiration and communities, said: “These plans show our ambition for children and young people and highlight the excellent relationships we have with our schools.

“It’s so important that families can access school places in their local area and know that their children will have the best possible opportunities to thrive.

“We have worked closely with schools to monitor population changes, which impact on demand, and then carefully plan how extra children can be accommodated.

“We are investing in future generations, working hard to improve outcomes and aiming to give all children and young people the best start in life.”

Coun Paul Davies, cabinet member for corporate, said: “The proposals aim to support schools in meeting local need but will also create the standard of facilities that our children deserve.

“Schools are at the very heart of their communities, delivering essential education, health and well-being activities for children, parents and the wider community.

“These improvement works would also further reduce our carbon footprint because new-build accommodation would be created with energy efficient materials and equipment.

“We are striving for all school buildings to provide excellent, clean and green facilities for everybody who uses them.”

The proposal for Manor Croft Academy includes six new classrooms, an extended dining room space and a larger car park. The school would permanently expand by 30 pupils per year group.

The total cost of the works would be £3.2million, with £500,000 provided by Delta Academies Trust, of which Manor Craft is a part.

Cabinet members are being asked to agree the remaining £2.7million and, if approval is given, it is expected work would begin on site in spring of next year.

Thornhill Community Academy has been taking in extra pupils for the last three years in order to meet additional demand for places. The proposal is to invest £600,000 in improved dining facilities.

North Huddersfield Trust School needs extra toilet facilities at a cost of £250,000, while Westborough High School requires £100,000 of work to expand outdoor dining and to help the flow of pupils around school.

At Headlands CE (VC) J I and N School, the proposal is to spend £650,000 on replacing a modular building with a new, permanent block to ensure the school can keep its nursery provision.

At the shared site of Reinwood Infant and Nursery and Reinwood Juniors, £215,000 is needed for remodelling as pupil numbers return to normal levels.

Cabinet members will discuss the proposals on December 14.