Work is now underway on the much-needed 420-place new primary school in Cringleford near Norwich.
A ground-breaking ceremony, which traditionally marks the beginning of construction for new building projects, was attended by: Norfolk County Council, which is funding and commissioning the new school; Inspiration Trust, which will be running it; and RG Carter which is building it.
The new school is being built on land off Colney Lane on the edge of Norwich. It will be a second primary school for the growing village of Cringleford, which is due to see around 1,300 new homes built.
Cllr Penny Carpenter, cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “It’s really exciting to see work starting, it demonstrates the council’s commitment to making sure there are the right number of school places so children can go to school in their local communities.”
Cllr David Bills, local member for the county council’s Humbleyard division, said: “I know local residents will be pleased to see that the project to make this new school a reality is underway, enabling more children in this growing community to go to school close to home.”
Mario Rackham, Director and General Manager at R G Carter, said: “We are extremely pleased to have been appointed to deliver this much-needed school for the local community and to have hosted this celebration to mark the start of its construction.
“We have extensive experience in providing high-quality educational facilities across the region and are looking forward to working in partnership with Inspiration Trust and Norfolk County Council Children’s Services to deliver this exciting new project in Cringleford.”
Gareth Stevens, Chief Executive Officer of Inspiration Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the opportunity to open a new free school in Cringleford and it was wonderful to see the building works underway.
“We have a clear mission across all our schools – to provide the children of our county with the best possible education and being able to open this new free school in Cringleford will enable us to expand further on this, improving outcomes for even more children and setting them up to succeed in the next stage of their education.”
The new school will be two storeys with car parking for staff and visitors, including electric charging spaces, and external hard and soft surfaced outdoor play areas.
Its design and layout has been carefully done to reduce net carbon in the operational energy demands of the school and respects the local area and new housing. The new building would have solar panels, passive stack natural ventilation, air source heat pumps and an all-electric kitchen.
The school is due to open in September next year.
It is one of a proposed 26 new schools proposed for the county within the next 10 years as part of Norfolk County Council’s £308 million Local Growth and Investment Plan to ensure sufficient places in areas of major planned housing growth.