Work begins on new school site

A ground-breaking ceremony has taken place to mark the start of construction work on Silsoe CofE Lower School’s new building.

Central Bedfordshire Council last year approved plans to expand and relocate the lower school as part of its commitment to provide 6,500 new school places over the next five years.

It means that from September 2016, the lower school will move from its current location in High Street, to a new site on the former Cranfield University campus within the village. The new lower school will be able to offer 240 places, up from 135 at the current site.

Today (4 November) staff and children from the school joined dignitaries including Council Chairman Cllr David Bowater, Deputy Executive Member for Education and Skills Cllr Ian Dalgarno, ward member Cllr Alison Graham, Chairman of Silsoe Parish Council Mike Jarrard and Deputy Chairman Ian Kelly, the Venerable Paul Hughes, Archdeacon of Bedford, and Silsoe’s vicar Reverend Dave Bell for a ground-breaking ceremony at the new site.

Cllr Dalgarno said: “A key role for the council is for all children across Central Bedfordshire to have a place at a good, local school. With all the new homes being built in the village, there is a real need for new school places in Silsoe.

“Despite the rain, I was very pleased to be able to attend today’s ceremony to see the start of the work at Silsoe CofE Lower School’s new campus.”

Silsoe Lower School headteacher Susan Purdue said: “We have a wonderful design which will help us to continue to deliver the best quality, innovative and creative education for the children and families of this community. Our new school has been designed to be outward looking, values based and God centred.”

Work is being carried out by Ashe Construction and the company’s Business Development Director Andrew Morris said: “We are delighted to have won yet another local project in Central Bedfordshire where we will use local labour to deliver this fantastic new school for Central Bedfordshire Council.

“Our strong performance in the education sector will ensure the successful construction of this wonderful new facility for the school children of Silsoe.”

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