Funding talks are set for major schools bid

James Calvert Spence College building in Acklington Road, Amble.
James Calvert Spence College building in Acklington Road, Amble.

An ambitious bid has been launched to secure funding to rebuild a middle school and refurbish a high school close by.

County councillor Scott Dickinson is lobbying his colleagues at County Hall to allocate and invest capital funding for the James Calvert Spence College (JCSC) Federation of schools. It consists of a high and middle school in Amble and a first school in Acklington.

Coun Dickinson, ward member for Druridge Bay and county council business chairman, wants to secure cash to invest in the Amble schools. He believes that the middle school could be built closer to the high school on Acklington Road, which he wants revamped as part of his proposals.

He said: “Families in our area deserve some of the best facilities. JCSC has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and to continue that improvement we need to enhance the offer of new educational spaces.

“JCSC South Avenue is a pre-war building and as one group of schools working together for the benefit of the students, I would like to see our schools closer together physically. This will enable staff to work cross-site easier, children to access specialist facilities and for the organisation to be streamlined.

“It can only be a good thing for families in the area to have new facilities in place.

“I have secured a meeting with the council leader to talk through some suggestions I have, fully backed by governors for the JCSC Federation.

“It’s early days, but I hope we can achieve something. I appreciate the pressures on the council from Government, but I think this could be achievable.”