Five new schools open following Mayoral investment

Archbishop Blanch interior

Five new schools worth almost £50 million built under Mayor Joe Anderson’s Schools Investment Programme have opened their doors.

Thousands of pupils at Archbishop Blanch C of E High School in Picton (pictured above), St Hilda’s C of E High School, St Francis Xavier’s College in Woolton, Redbridge High School and Bank View High School in Norris Green are starting the academic year in new classrooms.

It is part of a £169 million scheme which is seeing 17 new and refurbished schools funded through a mix of investment from the Government and contributions from the council.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “I am delighted to see these new schools opening their doors, paving the way for a big boost for learning for many thousands of our young people.

“These new schools are replacing outdated facilities which were past their sell by date, and are set up for modern teaching methods using the latest technology.”

“It is not just an investment in our young people, but in the future success of the city.”

The new St Hilda's
The new St Hilda’s

The work has seen:

• Archbishop Blanch move from cramped buildings on Mount Vernon Road near the city centre to a new £16 million purpose-built site on Earle Road, off Smithdown Road in Wavertree. It includes on-site sports fields so the school can, for the first time, have its own pitches to deliver outdoor activities for pupils.

• A new £15 million St Hilda’s on land at the former Sefton Grange adjacent to its existing site, with the present school building being demolished and used for games pitches, a sports hall and a car park. The school has also become co-educational.

• At SFX, £7.6 million has been spent on a brand new science block to replace temporary accommodation on playing fields. There is also a new sports hall, and the music department moved to the main building.

• Redbridge High Community Special School has moved from Fazakerley to a new £5 million building on Long Lane, where it is co-located with a new £5 million Bank View High Special School. Redbridge is expanding from 90 places to 120 and Bank View will support up to 150 pupils.

Councillor Nick Small, Cabinet member for education and skills, said: “These new schools will make sure our young people are best equipped with the skills to take advantage of employment and higher education opportunities when they leave.

“We have also made sure that the vast majority of the work has been carried out by contractors based in Liverpool City Region so that the money we have spent has been recycled into the local economy, and created scores of apprenticeships to give young people a lift on to the employment ladder.”

Bank View and Redbridge
Bank View and Redbridge

The other schools already completed under the programme are:

Notre Dame Catholic College (Sept 2013)
Abbots Lea Special School (Sept 2013)
Archbishop Beck Sports College (Sept 2014)
St John Bosco Arts College (Sept 2014)
Millstead (September 2014)
Holly Lodge Girls’ College (January 2015)
Northway Primary (June 2015)
New Park Primary (June 2015)

The projects to be completed are Aigburth High Special School (mid 2016), a new sixth form block at Bellerive Catholic College (May 2016) and St Julie’s Catholic College and Palmerston Special School (Easter 2017).