New school given go-ahead on key regeneration site near Chesterfield

An education trust has promised a new school to be built on a regeneration site near Chesterfield will deliver an ‘exceptional’ learning experience.

Wednesday, 10th February 2021, 7:00 am

The new primary academy will be a vital element in the transformation of The Avenue site at Wingerworth – a vast former coking works which was once one of the most polluted areas in Europe.

Avenue CofE Primary School – which has been under discussion for many years as part of the development – is one of 50 schools to be built in the next wave of the Government’s school building programme.

North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley said confirmation of the plans was ‘fantastic news’.

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Derbyshire County Council leader Barry Lewis says he is 'delighted' the new school will be built on The Avenue site at Wingerworth.
Derbyshire County Council leader Barry Lewis says he is 'delighted' the new school will be built on The Avenue site at Wingerworth.

“It is yet another brilliant example of us levelling up our infrastructure in North East Derbyshire and being ambitious for the long-term,” he said.

"Huge congratulations to everyone who has been involved in developing the plans so far and I look forward to seeing the school open in the coming years.”

Coun Barry Lewis, Wingerworth councillor and leader of Derbyshire County Council, said: “We’re really pleased to have supported this successful bid which I’m delighted will see a much-needed brand new school to benefit our communities to the south of Chesterfield.”

Chesterfield seen from The Avenue site, Wingerworth, where a new school will be built.

The school will be run by the Derbyshire Diocesan Academy Trust (DDAT), and Derbyshire County Council has worked with the trust and the Department for Education on the bid for funding, which will come from a combination of housing developer funds and direct funding from the Government.

It will be developed as part of the Government’s Free School programme and the trust says it will create much needed nursery and primary school places for families as the number of homes on The Avenue site increases.

Trust bosses say the proposed school will be ‘inclusive and open to pupils from families of all backgrounds and faiths (including no faith) where every child will be welcomed, respected and nurtured’.

North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley says the new school announcement is 'fantastic news' for the area.

The site will also include a nursery offering 26 places for children.

Chief executive officer of DDAT, Mark Mallender, said: “I am thrilled that the Department for Education has approved our application for a new primary school and nursery serving the Wingerworth and Clay Cross areas.

"We now have the opportunity to work with parents and the community to develop a highly effective school that will ensure our pupils make exceptional progress and leave fully

prepared for their secondary education.

"The DDAT team are ready and excited to begin detailed work on developing this school and will ensure that plans are shared with the community as part of future consultations.”

Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for young people, Councillor Alex Dale, said he was ‘delighted’ the Government had announced its support to build the school.

“Building a new primary for the Avenue site will help to provide places for all those children whose families move into new homes on the site.”

The trust will now start planning its pre-opening programme, including consultations and events in the area, leading up to the opening of the school.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.