County council approves £6.48m for sports hall project at King Edward VI School in Morpeth

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Northumberland County Council has approved a £6.48million allocation for a new sports hall project at Morpeth’s high school.

Members of the local authority’s cabinet gave the funding recommendation for King Edward VI School the green light at its meeting today (Tuesday).

The scheme will help to address the issue of the increased pupil numbers experienced in recent years within the Morpeth Partnership enrolment at KEVI.

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In addition, the school has previously confirmed that the will benefit the wider community as well as its students.

King Edward VI School in Morpeth.King Edward VI School in Morpeth.
King Edward VI School in Morpeth.

In a report to the cabinet meeting, officers set out that the development of the new building would enable the Cheviot Learning Trust to repurpose the existing “undersized” hall, gym and changing room facilities into new classroom spaces.

It sets out the funding arrangements. In the current financial year (2024/25), £2.855million is coming from a Department for Education Basic Need Grant, £1.169million from Section 106 (agreements with developers) funding held to create capacity in education in Morpeth and £111,000 from the council itself.

The council will then add £2.345million in the 2025/26 financial year.

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Coun Guy Renner-Thompson, cabinet member for inspiring young people, said during the meeting: “This is a very exciting project for Morpeth and the wider area that has been in train for a long time.

“The school needs more classroom space. We have a growing population in Morpeth, as Morpeth is a very popular town.”

The report to the meeting also states: “To meet the needs of the increased demand for places and enhance community and school sports facilities, there are three separate projects listed.

a – The council to fund and deliver the new sports hall and associated facilities.

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b – Cheviot Learning Trust to fund main school building improvements to increase classroom space to accommodate student numbers through remodelling of the existing changing and gym facilities.

c – Cheviot Learning Trust to seek funding from the Football Foundation to provide a new 3G sports pitch. This funding is subject to approval, which will be decided by the Football Foundation in January 2025. If the funding is not received, then the Cheviot Learning Trust will need to re-assess the 3G sports pitch proposal and the rest of the project would go still ahead.”

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