New £20 million school gets green light

The new £20 million St Julie’s Catholic High School in Liverpool has been given planning permission.

The redevelopment of the Woolton school – 90 percent of which will be on its existing footprint – will create a new fit for purpose building for up to 1,100 pupils.

The three and four storey building replaces a worn out and tired 1960s building which is no longer fit for modern teaching methods and needs significant repairs and maintenance.

Aerial shot of the new St Julie's
Aerial shot of the new St Julie’s

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The new St Julie’s Catholic High School is much needed because the existing building is long past its sell-by date.

“We have been able to come up with a plan which delivers a new school largely on the existing site, minimising disruption to pupils and local residents.

“This scheme is a pragmatic and sensible solution that will deliver a fantastic new school for the area, benefiting hundreds of families who live in and around Woolton, as well as the wider community.”

The buildings have been sympathetically designed in line with the Woolton Village Conservation Area, and will be further away from the Grade 1 listed Woolton Hall than the existing school.

The new complex will also include multi use games area and sports hall which will be available for use by the local community, and will give the school more outside play space than it currently has.

Entrance of the new St Julie's
Entrance of the new St Julie’s

Head teacher of St Julie’s, Tim Alderman, said: “We are delighted that St Julie’s, first founded in Liverpool when Sisters of Notre Dame came here in 1851, will be secured as part of Woolton Village for many years to come in state of the art, beautiful buildings and surroundings.

“It will be a fabulous environment for children to grow and learn in.”

Under the plans, the three acre neighbouring private woodland will be opened up to the local community for the first time – creating five times more public space than is being lost due to the change in the school’s footprint.

Ideas for the new public space include a children’s play area, woodland trail, cycle routes, trim trail and woodland management if deemed appropriate. It will be funded as part of the school development as a community-led project.

The project is part of the Liverpool Schools Investment Programme, which will see at least 12 new schools built. It was devised as a rescue package following the scrapping of Wave Six of Liverpool’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project in 2010, and is one of the Mayor’s key pledges.

The school is expected to be completed in the academic year 2016-17.