Emsworth school could get more classrooms in £15m project

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A PRIMARY school could be in line for a share of a £15m pot of cash to build extra classrooms.

The rising number of births coupled with an increase in house building means the pressure is on at Emsworth Primary School where there is a high demand for spaces.

The 210 capacity school, in Victoria Road, needs space to accommodate up to an additional 105 children.

Next week the man at Hampshire County Council in charge of dishing out cash for schools, Councillor Roy Perry, will decide whether to invest in Emsworth.

There are nine schools across the county desperately in need of expansion.

Cllr Perry said: ‘The county council must ensure there are sufficient primary school places to meet the rising demand for them.

‘Hampshire, like many other parts of the country, is experiencing increased pressure on school places.

‘These proposals represent significant investment to ensure that children can attend their local schools and I will consider them carefully. The decision is to approve consultation on the proposals.

‘If I take this decision then the governing bodies, staff, pupils, parents, the wider community and district councils will all have a chance to comment before any final decision is taken.’

Across the county 1,000 extra school places are needed to keep up with demand.

Work is already underway at nearby Hampshire Farm estate, a 300 home development between Emsworth and Westbourne, which will put more pressure on the local schools.

Emsworth councillor Brendan Gibb-Gray, who sits on Havant Borough Council, welcomed the proposals.

He said: ‘It will be brilliant. It is actually the only school in Emsworth has room to expand. We don’t want to have to bus our children out to be educated. It’s really important that the county council gives a slice of the money to Emsworth Primary. ‘

If the proposal is approved a feasibility study will be carried out and a design brief drawn up. Officers will then have a better idea of how much the project will cost.

Cllr Perry will make his decision at next Wednesday’s children’s services meeting.

The meeting will take place at 2pm in Winchester.