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More than £12million will be invested in increasing the number of places at primary schools across Carlisle.Today (March 15) Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet gave the green light to proposals that will create 176 extra places in reception classes around the city from September 2012.
And the centre-piece of this multi-million pound investment will be the rebuilding of Pennine Way Primary School on the former North Cumbria Technology College site in Harraby at a cost of £8.8million. The new building is set to open in September 2014.
The new Pennine Way School will be larger than the existing building and is planned to be a state-of the-art facility that will provide a focal point for the regeneration of Harraby.
Creating an additional 176 places from September will eventually provide more than 1,200 extra places as the expanded year group progresses through the school system.
Since September 2004 the number of pupils entering reception classes in Carlisle has increased by 44 per cent so Cumbria County Council has moved to accommodate this growth by increasing the capacity at 10 primaries across the city.
Extensive consultation has been carried out with parents, staff and governors in areas of the city where increasing school places was proposed.
The consultation featured public meetings to outline the plans and capture peoples’ views and as a result of the consultation a proposal to merge Kingmoor Junior and Infant Schools in Lowry Hill was dropped and instead the schools will be expanded but remain separate.
Councillor Duncan Fairbairn, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for schools and learning, said: "Our decision today really is a landmark moment for the future of primary school education in Carlisle and it means our schools are going to be equipped to meet the growing demand for places.
"Expanding all these schools and building a brand new Pennine Way Primary is tremendous news for the city and highlights our ongoing commitment to providing not only the best education for Cumbria’s children, but the best facilities for that education.
"I’d like to thank everybody who took part in the consultation process as their views were crucial in helping shape this final outcome that is going to transform learning for primary school children in Carlisle.”