Plans are approved to extend school

An artist's impression of the new senior school entrance proposed at Kings Priory School.

An artist's impression of the new senior school entrance proposed at Kings Priory School.

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A Tynemouth school has been granted permission to extend and improve its facilities.

Kings Priory School has been given the green light by North Tyneside Council’s planning committee to improve the senior school site.

Principal Gill Hewlett, along with governing body and school sponsor Woodard Academies Trust, said they are working on an ambitious development strategy to deliver improvements over the next two years.

The plans will see a modernisation of number 2 and 3 Huntingdon Place to create a dedicated sixth form building with cafe, library, improved teaching rooms, seminar rooms and improved disabled access.

Additionally the school’s own cafeteria will be extended while refurbishments will be carried out to the Dawson and Provost buildings.

Durham-based Howard Litchfield Partnership (HLP) has been chosen as the architects for the scheme.

Director Neil Turner said: “We were delighted to be appointed to work on such a significant redevelopment scheme for this school and particularly on this site.

“There are however, certain challenges to overcome with this phase of the project, not least the fact that certain of the buildings are listed.

“This means we must deliver design solutions which not only equip the school with the finest facilities but which are also sensitive to the constraints of working within a heritage setting.

“To this end, we have worked closely with North Tyneside Council’s local planning authority, the conservation and historic officers and English Heritage.”

Mrs Hewlett added: “Since the merger of the King’s School with Priory Primary School, the accommodation at Nos 2 and 3 Huntingdon Place has been empty because the junior school pupils, who were formerly accommodated there, are now elsewhere on the site.

“So, we are really excited at the prospect of getting this first phase underway to create a dedicated sixth form which will provide the necessary resources and an appropriate environment to help prepare students for university life.”

David Bilton, chief executive of the Woodard Academies Trust, said: “We appointed HLP because of its considered approach to school building design and we have been impressed by the way in which the firm has held a number of consultations with local residents and local interest groups as well as working closely with teaching staff and students to ensure both a logical design solution and one that will meet the needs of young people in the future.”