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New £12m specialist school to be built on vacant town site

PUBLISHED: 14:55 11 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:55 11 March 2019

Alderman Swindell Primary School before its closure in 2018. A new school for children with emotional and mental health needs is set to be built on the site in Great Yarmouth. Picture: ARCHANT

Alderman Swindell Primary School before its closure in 2018. A new school for children with emotional and mental health needs is set to be built on the site in Great Yarmouth. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant Norfolk 2017

A new school for children with social, emotional and mental health needs is set to be developed on the former Alderman Swindell site in Great Yarmouth.

A demonstration at Alderman Swindell Primary School as part of a campaign to save the school from closure. It shut at the end of the last school year, in July 2018, and merged with North Denes. Picture: SUBMITTEDA demonstration at Alderman Swindell Primary School as part of a campaign to save the school from closure. It shut at the end of the last school year, in July 2018, and merged with North Denes. Picture: SUBMITTED

The new school is one of three planned by Norfolk County Council as part of a £120m investment in special educational needs provision.

Designs are currently being drawn up for the new building in Beresford Road, which will have capacity for up to 100 children who need a specialist school place.

READ MORE: Government announces opening of four new special free schools in East of England

The site was left vacant after Alderman Swindell Primary School closed and merged with North Denes Primary in 2018, despite a community campaign to keep it open.

The school, which would have celebrated its 90th anniversary this year, held a raft of celebrations before its closure last July.

A closing ceremony at Alderman Swindell School in Yarmouth. 
Picture: ARCHANTA closing ceremony at Alderman Swindell School in Yarmouth. Picture: ARCHANT

There had been speculation that the site would be used as a school for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Stuart Dark, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s children’s services committee, said the new school was forecast to cost £12m and would form part of a £19m investment in education in Great Yarmouth, alongside £7m to be spend on a new building for North Denes.

Both projects are expected to finish in 2020, bringing more than 500 extra schools places to the town.

Mr Dark said: “This is part of our commitment to get the best education for all children in our county, helping more children to be taught close to their homes, near to their families and friends.

“We know that we need more high-quality places for children with social and emotional needs. This will help get them the specialist support they need and help more of Norfolk’s children to achieve their potential.”

Mick Castle, county councillor for the area, said: “For far too long Yarmouth youngsters with special education needs have had to travel quite long distances to get appropriate schooling. This will make a real positive difference.”

Norfolk County Council said it will share plans with residents and allow time between an exhibition event and submitted a planning application to consider residents’ and stakeholders’ comments.

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