Salford approves Oasis Academy design

Salford City Council has approved design proposals for a new specialist high school with links to Media City as part of its Building Schools for the Future programme.

The new building, located in Salford Quays, was one of the projects saved from Government funding cuts in August and will replace the current Oasis Academy building on Prestwood Road.

The new £20m academy is due to open in September 2012 and aims to create a centre for media, technology, business and enterprise.

Built on the doorstep of Peel's Media City UK, the academy will have close links to its facilities and the BBC which is relocating five of its major departments there next year.

The academy will have places for 900 pupils, aged between 11 and 16, with a 250 place post-16 provision.

The building will include teaching spaces, a large atrium, dance and drama studios, radio and TV studios, and a sports and performance hall.

As well as a school, the council said the new building will be a community asset which local organisations can use for sporting, leisure and learning activities.

Meanwhile, the council said outline plans to rebuild St Patrick's RC High School for 900 pupils at its existing Eccles site were also passed by the planning committee.

The council added that St Patrick's rebuild at Guilford Road is to be the same size as the current school with a provision for 11 to 16 year olds. Work is to start on site from autumn 2012.

Elsewhere, outline planning applications were submitted for a new St Ambrose Barlow RC building on a site at Wardley and a new combined campus for Swinton and Moorside High Schools.

Cllr John Merry, leader of Salford City Council, said: "We're committed to seeing our high school plans continue and we will push forward with as much of these as we can bearing in mind the budget pressures nationally."

Cllr Margaret Morris, the council's lead member for children's services, added: "In Walkden and Irlam and Cadishead two of our first new BSF high schools are almost complete.

Patrick Ottley-O'Connor, principal of Oasis Academy Media City UK, said: "While a new building by itself does not improve results, we know from our other academies that a new building most definitely inspires students to increase their learning opportunities. We are already looking forward to our positive future."

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