Two new schools, representing a £20million investment in the community, were officially opened yesterday (Oct 4).
Wixams Tree Primary opened its doors in September, while next door, pupils aged 11 are at their desks at the Wixams Academy, which offers the best of secondary education in a fantastic setting.
The two schools are sponsored by the Bedford College Academies Trust (BCAT). Bedford College is long established name in education in Bedfordshire and is now one of the largest FE colleges in the UK and No1 in the region.
The schools were built by Willmott Dixons, funded by Bedford Borough Council and the DfE.
The Mayor Dave Hodgson joined Ian Pryce, chairman of BCAT, at the event together with Wixams Academy Principal Paul Spyropoulos and Wixams Tree headteacher Mary Langley, staff, students and representatives from all the partners involved in the project including architects, builders and local councillors.
Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “Congratulations to everyone involved at both schools, which will both be at the heart of the community in Wixams for generations to come. We are delivering a nationally-acclaimed school building programme, and thanks to the council’s £75m in schools investment we are ensuring there are enough school places for all children right across the Borough.
“The facilities in these schools and the new buildings across the borough are providing environments in which high standards of teaching and learning can take place.”
Mr Pryce. chairman of BCAT and chief executive of Bedford College Group, said:“We created the Bedford College Academies Trust to help our fast-growing communities develop the great new schools they deserve.
“Our expertise, and the partnership with the borough council, has ensured Wixams Academy and Wixams Tree Primary are beautifully built and led by superb Heads. It is great news for Bedford and for the residents and young people of Wixams.”
Chris Tredget, managing director of Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd, engaged the primary school children in a game of guessing how many tonnes of concrete, lorries and men and women were involved in building the schools.
Commemorative plaques were presented to the heads of both schools by Willmott Dixon.
Gregg Wilkinson, managing director of Gallagher Estates said: “We have made a significant financial investment in Wixams Tree Primary School and Wixams Academy because we know the important role both these schools will play in the local community.
“Our investment in schools, open spaces, community facilities and transport infrastructure is our legacy to the local area. It ensures the sustainable growth of these communities as new homes are provided.
“We have worked extensively on the creation of Wixams and it is fantastic to see the pupils enjoying the facilities at their new schools.”