Foundation aiming to reach target after plans are given the go-ahead

An artist impression of the new extension at Percy Hedley School, in Killingworth.
An artist impression of the new extension at Percy Hedley School, in Killingworth.

New learning facilities for disabled children have been given the green light.

Plans for a residential school and hydrotherapy pool at Percy Hedley Foundation’s facilities at West Lane in Killingworth have been approved by North Tyneside Council’s planners.

Designed by Gateshead-based Gradon Architecture, the new development will provide additional residential accommodation integrated on one-site, including a 24-bedroom home and state of the art hydrotherapy pool.

The foundation is now looking to raise £5m to ensure the new integrated campus will be completed by September 2015.

Chief executive Carole Harder said: “We have been planning this development for some time and our timescale is ambitious, but at last we are able to say that the development can begin in earnest.

“Our aim as the region’s leading disability charity supporting children, young people, adults and their families, is to provide high quality services that will enable each individual to achieve their potential.

“We can’t do this on our own and with support from all the companies involved we are on our way.

“As a charity we do need local companies and individuals to help us raise the £5m it will take to see our plans become a reality for disabled children.”

The new campus has been tailored to meet students’ needs. As well as delivering responsive environments to improve learning, the scheme features wide corridors and terraces to enable multiple wheelchair use.

Graham McDarby, design director of Gradon Architecture, said: “To gain planning approval for a project that will benefit families and enhance disabled children’s learning experiences for years to come is just fantastic.”

“The Percy Hedley Foundation continues to lead the way in delivering specialist educational support services for disabled children and we’re delighted to help them in their goal to improve more lives.

“Our integrated design puts students, their families and staff first and we have tailored the site specifically to respond to their needs.

“We’re committed to delivering architecture with care and efficiency and our carefully thought out plans will ensure that every space and environment on the site will work hard for everyone.”

Anyone interested in fundraising or support the development should visit www.percyhedley.org.uk or email fundraising@percyhedley.org.uk