Plans revealed for how new Oldham town centre school will look

Reporter: Charlotte Green
Date published: 14 April 2021

An academy trust has revealed the designs for a proposed new 1,200-pupil high school in the heart of Oldham town centre.

The Cranmer Education Trust is aiming to build the new school, named the Brian Clarke Church of England Academy, on land off Booth Street.

The brownfield site, near to Oldham Leisure Centre was previously occupied by a Sainsbury’s supermarket which has now been demolished.

The trust says that in its place there will be a ‘unique, high quality, light, airy and well-designed building, rich with colour, that will inspire the whole school community and lift aspirations’.

The trust have unveiled the designs for how the new school will look, which will be built with funding from the Department of Education.

It will stand four storeys high, and according to the design and access statement will open with a year 7 intake in September 2022, ‘initially teaching in temporary accommodation’, with the new building being handed over by March 2023.

There would be 112 parking spaces on the site, including 62 accessible bays, and four electric car charging points.

According to the inital plans, the main entrace would be located at the ‘natural arrival point’ at the junction of Middleton Road and Booth Street.

The school is to be named after the Oldham-born architect and artist Brian Clarke, who works predominately in stained glass.

He has also designed the spinning mill artwork that is at the centre of the new school crest, and chiefs intend that the new building will also include an original stained glass window designed by Mr Clarke.

Willmott Dixon will be the main contractor delivering the school building on the site.

The trust already runs the Blue Coat Blue Coat School, St Georges and Mayfield Primary Schools in Oldham and St Anne’s CE Academy in Middleton.

Blue Coat school is the second most oversubscribed secondary in Greater Manchester.

CEO of the Cranmer Education Trust Julie Hollis said: “Our mission is to transform the life chances of children and young people through excellent education and outstanding schools and to nurture our pupils to become everything they can be and are meant to be.

“The Brian Clarke Church of England Academy is being founded to help meet the need for more secondary school places in the borough and to provide another good school, like The Blue Coat School, to increase parental choice.”

The new Church of England high school will also serve different faiths and denominations, and will provide an additional 240 school places a year in the borough.

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