£37m earmarked for new buildings on one site for two Northumberland schools

Queen Elizabeth High School, Hexham. Picture by Google Maps.
Queen Elizabeth High School, Hexham. Picture by Google Maps.

Plans are under way to construct new buildings for two schools on one site in Hexham.

The scheme would see both the current Queen Elizabeth High School and Hexham Middle School co-located on the high school site.

A public information event will be held on Thursday (February 7) from 6.30pm to 8pm in the Winter Garden at Queen Elizabeth High School. Everyone is invited to attend to find out more about the plans.

An outline business case for replacement school buildings for Hadrian Learning Trust’s schools is due to be considered by the council’s cabinet on February 12.

Council officers have been working with Hadrian Learning Trust to establish a business case and proposal for the redevelopment of the current ageing and increasingly unsuitable school buildings.

During last year’s consultations on education in West Northumberland there was support for co-locating Hexham Middle School and Queen Elizabeth High School on one site. The move will create educational and operational benefits, as well as providing good value for money.

A number of locations in and around Hexham have been considered for the new school buildings and feasibility work has found that this proposal on the existing site is the best option.

The estimated cost of the new buildings is £37.1million.

The plans form part of Northumberland County Council’s largest programme of capital investment, according to the Tory administration, with £589million proposed over the next three years 'to boost the county’s economy, improve education prospects for all and create new infrastructure for the future'. It includes £21million for the construction of new school buildings at Seaton Delaval - which will become part of the Seaton Valley Federation of Schools.

Coun Wayne Daley, deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services at Northumberland County Council, said: “I am delighted that we can now present these plans to construct new buildings for two schools at Hexham, which is part of our wider commitment to achieve educational excellence in Northumberland.

“The existing Hexham buildings are ageing and are increasingly unsuitable for providing the quality of education that we want for our children.

“We want to provide a bright future for all young people in Northumberland and, through investments such as this, we can ensure high quality learning environments while providing best value for money.”

The procurement process for the Hexham proposals will start soon, with a view to construction on the new school buildings being completed by September 2021.