Work is finally underway on Littleport's long awaited new schools and leisure centre complex
PUBLISHED: 17:36 07 January 2016 | UPDATED: 17:36 07 January 2016
Work has finally started on Littleport's long awaited new multi million pound schools and leisure complex.
Workmen moved on to the site adjoining the current leisure centre off Camel Road on Monday (January 4) after Cambridgeshire County Council confirmed Littleport Leisure Trust signed an access agreement to enable the development to go ahead.
Early last year the whole scheme, which includes both 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.
Local MP Steve Barclay stepped in to broker an 11th hour compromise between the two sides and in June East Cambridgeshire District Council submitted a planning application for the project, which at that time was estimated would cost around £34 million.
However, a spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council confirmed the latest figure in December was for £40 million.
The development will see the current leisure centre demolished to make room for the new schools and leisure facility.
The site will also house a new primary school during the third phase, which is expected to be completed some time before 2020.
The schools will be run by Greenwood Dale, an academy trust which manages more than 20 schools across East Anglia.
The schools remain scheduled to open in September next year and that is despite all the delays in acquiring the land and the issues over the leisure centre’s management.
Work was originally expected to begin last summer but slipped to the autumn before finally commencing this week.
The secondary school will cater initially for 600 pupils aged from 11 to 16, with the potential for future expansion up to 750 pupils.
The special school on the same site will cater for around 100 pupils aged from two to 19 with special educational needs.