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£12.3m school and sport campus plans lodged for Carlisle

Plans have been lodged for a new £12.3 million school with a sport and community campus in Carlisle.

School campus graphic
Artist's impression of how the site would look

The eagerly-anticipated formal proposals promise to transform part of the Harraby estate.

At their core is a replacement Pennine Way Primary – more than doubling the number of pupils the current school is capable of taking.

A decision on whether to grant planning permission is expected in May. If the scheme is given the go-ahead, construction is set to start in the summer with a target date for completion in 2015.

The Harraby Community Campus – on the site of the old North Cumbria Technology College site on Edgehill Road – will also be home to a new community centre.

Existing facilities such as the sports arena, arts theatre and BMX track are being retained and integrated into the new development. Other new features are poised to include a privately-run nursery catering for children from birth to three.

There are also hopes that the sports arena and pitches can be further improved in tandem with the community hub development.

Supporters are delighted to have got to the point of applying for planning permission.

Pennine Way Primary headteacher Sue Blair said: “The heart of the project is returning the heart back into Harraby. A community cafe would be at the heart of this fabulous building.

“We hope this will be a place where our community will be able to meet together, learn together, keep fit together and most of all have fun.”

All the classrooms in the new school will have their own outdoor learning spaces, while the primary will also boast a wetland science investigation area. The school will eventually house 640 children as reception year groups grow and children move up through their primary education.

Other schools in the cluster of 11 in south Carlisle will also be able to use facilities in Harraby, which will be capable of hosting conferences for them and the wider community, with the theatre giving children a chance to showcase their productions to a wider audience.

Ideas from staff and pupils have been incorporated into the plans, which have also been pursued and pushed heavily by community action group Harraby Together We Can.

Mrs Blair added: “This project is an amazing opportunity for our community.

“Children are going to have a high-tech, high-spec intelligent building that will enhance learning opportunities.”

The school is expected to help cater for families living across Harraby, Carleton Grange and Parklands Village as well as those who may move to other proposed new housing developments.

Cumbria County Council is ploughing £10.7m into the campus, with Carlisle City Council backing it to the tune of £1.6m.

The county council’s development control committee will make the decision on planning permission.

Authority leader Stewart Young said a lot of work had taken place to get the scheme to this stage.

He added: “It’s hugely exciting, not just for Harraby but that whole part of Carlisle.

“As well as the campus there will be parallel plans about the sports facilities and playing fields. There are active discussions about developing a number of facilities there. Things are coming together.”

Consultation on the plans closes on April 11.

Have your say

The Haraby area has 3 schools. Pennine Way, Inglewood & Peteril Bank. Is this new super school going to mean a closure? Is there demand or is the new school going to be under subscribed and fall into decay through under funding like the old NCTC building.

Where is the long term plan?

Posted by me on 4 April 2014 at 21:22

I thought St Aidans was the 'Sports College' ? They would be Better building a new secondary school to the North of the River perhaps on land between Kingstown and Brampton road?

Posted by Big Lad on 26 March 2014 at 00:50

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