Go ahead for JCSC new school building
Plans for Amble’s new school were given the go ahead at Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning meeting in November.
Last year, NCC agreed a £36.6m investment in all the schools in the Coquet Partnership, which would include a new building and renovations to Amble Middle school. The educational system will also move from the current three-tier, to a two-tier system.
The new building will accommodate 731 pupils aged 9 -18yrs, and the old Amble Middle School will be renovated to provide for primary school pupils and to include a new outreach site for Barndale school, thereby increasing provision for pupils with special educational needs.
Plans for the new state-of-the-art school building were unveiled to the public at a consultation in January. At the time, the council highlighted that it was their intention that the school would be ‘net carbon in operation’. However at the planning meeting it appeared that this was unlikely to be the case.
The much vaunted upgrade to the running track was also dropped. It was acknowledged by planners that this issue had been raised by a number of members of the public, including members of the running community. However they pointed out that Sport England had raised no objections to removing it, and there had not been an identified need for it in this particular location. In addition they said the school would not have been able to manage the track effectively.
Floodlighting until 11pm was also questioned and it was agreed to consider reducing this until 10pm. Access to the sports facilities and parking will be provided by the school, and a community use agreement will be set up to ensure the prices will be in line with other similar facilities in the area. In addition, further education classes would be offered to lifelong learners in the community.
Speaking at the meeting, JCSC headteacher Neil Rodgers explained the need for the new facilities.
He said: “Amble and the surrounding villages have lots of new housing and the population continues to grow, bringing new families to the area. Those new families, I believe, need education facilities that are fit for the modern age.
“What we currently have is a building finished in the early 1980s and that has not seen much investment since then. What was thought of as good education provision back then has not really stood the test of time.
“Our children – your children – deserve better. Now is the right time to invest and make sure our schools remain good.”
The plans were unanimously approved by councillors.