Northamptonshire County Council has today launched an initial consultation into proposals for a £20million project to convert the former Royal Mail sorting office in Northampton for education and community use.
The Barrack Road building has been bought by the government’s Education Funding Agency for development as a secondary school.
The council has been asked to develop proposals and to explore the potential for primary school provision, community use and possible commercial opportunities to be included.
Councillor Catherine Boardman, cabinet member for children, families and education, said: “This is such a fantastic opportunity for the future of education in Northampton and for the young people who’ll benefit from going to school here.
“Last year we converted Stirling House in Northampton to a primary school. This gave us valuable experience of transforming an office setting into a wonderful learning environment.
“We can use this insight to help the Barrack Road project but we also want to know what people think about how local communities can benefit from this exciting development. We want to hear from as many people as possible to help create a flagship school which makes the people of Northamptonshire proud.”
The council says the site has the capacity to hold:
* a secondary school for up to 1,500 pupils
* a sixth form for up to 500 pupils
* a primary school for up to 420 pupils
* additional space that could be used for community and commercial purposes.
The conversion project will be funded by the EFA and managed by the council. The school is expected to open in September 2016 as a free school. The school’s sponsor will be chosen by the Department for Education.
To take part in the consultation, people can:
* attend one of the public drop-in meetings at Alliston Gardens Community Centre in Semilong where site plans, artists impressions and information about the potential traffic impact will be available. The meetings will take place on Monday 19 May between 10am and 2pm and between 6pm and 8pm.
* visit the council’s website: www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/barrackroad for information about the proposals and to access the consultation register
* Write a letter to the council at the following address: Duncan Mills, Strategic Planning Manager, Northamptonshire County Council, PO Box 216, John Dryden House, 8-10 The Lakes, Northampton NN4 7DD
The closing date for comments is Friday 23 May.