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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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£12m Carlisle school proposal clears final hurdle

The creation of a £12 million school and community campus in Carlisle has cleared its final hurdle.

Harraby campus graphic
How the scheme, if approved, would look

Senior county councillors have agreed the final business case for the Harraby Community Campus.

The decision of Cumbria County Council’s ruling cabinet now paves the way for building on the former secondary school site on Edgehill Road to start.

It is understood this could begin in September because the former North Cumbria Technology College site has already been cleared apart from the theatre, BMX track and sports facilities which will form part of the new complex.

The development will include the construction of a new building to replace the existing Pennine Way Primary School, eventually doubling its current capacity to cater for 600-plus pupils.

The additional places are designed to help the growing population across Harraby, Carleton Grange and Parklands Village, as well as other proposed new housing developments.

Carlisle City Council is also involved in the scheme, investing cash to relocate its community centre services from its existing site nearby. The complex will include a cafe, library link, meeting space, soft play, children’s centre and an independent children’s nursery.

Atkins has designed the county council-led project and Laing O’Rourke will be the on-site contractor.

The formal planning application was given the go-ahead back in May but the county council’s business case for the scheme had to be signed off before construction could begin.

Councillors discussed the case at their latest cabinet meeting.

The project is being funded with £10.7m of county council cash and £1.6m from Carlisle City Council.

The latest step in the formal process is likely to be welcomed by school and community leaders who have been working on the project for several years.

Councillor Cyril Weber, who represents Harraby on both the city and county councils, is delighted. He said: “It’s great the business case has now been signed off and it’s all systems go.

“We’re hoping it’ll be late summer next year when it is completed and the children can go to the new school in September 2015.

“It isn’t just great for Harraby, but Carlisle because the sporting and arts facilities will be superb.”

He added: “With this and the recent news of investment at the Durranhill industrial estate it is looking good for Harraby. The investment at Durranhill will lead to jobs and a boost for the area here.”

He believes contractors will be moving on to the Edgehill Road site in the coming weeks, putting up hoardings, before development gets underway.

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