Westholme given the green light for new primary school

Westholme School is now actively planning for the future after being given approval to create an exciting new primary school within the extensive grounds of the current Senior School campus.

Monday, 30th March 2020, 8:37 am
Updated Monday, 30th March 2020, 8:40 am
Pupils are excited the scheme has been given the go ahead

The school is currently split across three locations, and planning permission has been approved to convert and extend the current art and music blocks and move all pupils to the existing Senior School campus on Meins Road.

The project combines both a conversion and new build, allowing the school to retain many features of both existing buildings. The children will have their own playgrounds, access points, drop off areas for parents and safe parking.

Lynne Horner, principal of Westholme School, said: “We are delighted that we have been given approval to proceed with our plans. We strongly believe that the children will benefit from being in one place. The time now currently spent travelling to and from Wilmar Lodge for regular swimming, sport, rehearsals and timetabled weekly visits can be much better utilised by the children. It will also benefit our staff team too, enabling greater collaboration and sharing good practice. It will effectively bring our Westholme family together.”

Sign up to our daily Burnley Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Now that approval has been secured, work is expected to commence in Autumn 2020 for opening in September 2021.

The move will be a two-staged process, with an interim one-year move of Infants, currently located at Billinge House on Preston New Road Blackburn, to the Junior site at Beardwood Bank on Preston New Road Blackburn. Meanwhile, the school will carry out the proposed work to Wilmar Lodge on Meins Road ahead of the merger.

By September 2021 the school intends to have all its primary phase pupils from pre School to Year 6 housed in the converted self-contained building, designed by Harrison Pitt Architects.

Mrs Horner added, there are also longer-term financial gains from this proposed change.

“The planned changes will give us the assurance of long-term sustainability and the future ability to reinvest in our facilities.”

To fund the new developments at Wilmar Lodge, Billinge House has been placed on the market, followed by Beardwood Bank, Beardwood House and 290 Preston New Road, the following year.

A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.

Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.

As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.

We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at [email protected] or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.