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West Norfolk schools in line for £3 million building cash boost

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Education news

More than £3 million of extra funding is set to be allocated to school building projects in West Norfolk, a new report has revealed.

The investment is part of a £162 million school building package for Norfolk, which is set to be considered by a county council committee next week.

But officials have also disclosed that a Lynn conference centre will close later this summer for work to enable a specialist school to move in.

Almost £2 million has already been set aside for work to expand provision in Downham, to enable three form groups to be accommodated each year.

The latest proposals, which will go before the county council’s children’s services committee next Tuesday, would see a further £1.9 million allocated to the project.

Another £500,000 is set to be allocated to the Dersingham Primary, so that it can operate from a single site instead of the two that it has worked from since the merger of the former infant and junior schools four years ago.

And an extra £750,000 investment is envisaged at the Fakenham Infant School, to provide space for three form entry.

Committee chairman Penny Carpenter said: “We want Norfolk’s children to have access to a good education and to achieve this we need to plan for the future, ensuring that we have enough school places in the county and that existing schools are not bursting at the seams.”

Another forthcoming scheme is that to move the St Edmund’s Academy from its present site in Kilhams Way to a new site as part of the Lynnsport housing development.

The current academy site will be taken over by the new Fen Rivers Academy, a specialist school sponsored by Catch 22 that will provide school places for pupils who are currently placed outside the county.

But the report said the council will close the adjacent West Norfolk Professional Development Centre (PDC) to accommodate the school both before and after the project is completed.

It added: “We will shortly be informing schools and those who have previously booked the PDC of alternative conference venues in King’s Lynn and its wider area, advising that bookings will not be taken at the PDC for dates beyond 31 August 2017 so that refurbishment work can commence.”

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