Celebrating the official opening of Highfield Ely and Littleport
PUBLISHED: 10:47 17 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:51 17 September 2018
It was a day to celebrate when Highfield Ely and Littleport school were treated to their officially opening thanks to a special ceremony.
NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay was tasked with unveiling the official plaque alongside teachers and academy chiefs.
Mr Barclay said: “This morning I had the privilege of officially opening both the Littleport Academy and Highfield Littleport Academy which is part of a £37.5 million site sharing the campus with the new Leisure Centre.
“With superb facilities and a talented team of teachers and support staff, pupils in Littleport will have countless opportunities to progress and grow.
“I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the completion of this project.”
Attending the event were the chair of governors, pupils, teachers and staff from across the Active Learning Trust to celebrate a year since Littleport and East Cambs Academy (LECA) welcomed its first cohort and its success so far.
The student choir from LECA performed while students from Highfield translated it into sign language for their own performance alongside.
Mr Barclay once stepped in to help broker a deal to secure the Littleport site after problems hit when workmen started the new school and leisure centre contract in January 2016.
Mr Barclay secured an 11th hour compromise to allow access.
Early in 2015 the whole scheme, which includes a new secondary and a special school as well as a leisure centre, looked to be in jeopardy as Littleport Leisure Trust and the parish council were at an impasse over who would run the new leisure centre.
Mr Barclay brought about a compromise between the two sides.
The multi-million pound development was always destined to be a central hub for the community.
It has proved to have excellent sports facilities as well as a café, bar and function and meeting rooms alongside a new outside patio area.
The £40 million school and leisure complex was built by Morgan Sindall.
The company spent the first seven months working on the ground, which was formerly a farmer’s field.
The four-form entry secondary school, Littleport Academy, initially catered for 600 pupils aged 11 to 16, with the potential to accommodate 750 pupils in the future.
A special school on the same site has space for 110 pupils and includes a hydrotherapy pool for swimming therapy programmes.