Education buildings completed at airfield development

Development of the former airfield site in Weston-super-Mare has taken a significant step forward with completion of two major education buildings.

Both the North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College (NSETC), based at the Weston College Academy building, and Haywood Village Primary School have been signed-off as complete and handed over to their future occupiers to be fitted out ready for opening to students in September.

NSETC was funded by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and sponsored by the Weston College Group, and has been helped by North Somerset Council securing City Deal funding for the fit-out and specialist equipment.

Haywood Village Primary School has been built in partnership with the council and the Cabot Learning Federation by Persimmon and Mi-Space under the terms of their S106 planning agreement with the council.

The new enterprise and technology college can accommodate up to 700 students and includes a purpose-built science floor, complete with super-labs and a terrace where students can conduct outdoor experiments. It also has technology and enterprise spaces, an all-weather sports pitch, canteen, library and lecture theatre.

The new 420-place primary school will be run by the Cabot Learning Federation and will have facilities available for shared and community use including:

  • a large sports hall
  • junior football pitches and a multi-use games area (MUGA)
  • a community meeting room with kitchen and toilet facilities.

Haywood Airfield Leisure Enterprise (HALE), a community interest company set up by the local residents, will oversee the management and booking of these facilities, making them available for use by the local community.

In addition and separate to these facilities, two park/play areas have been created, both with children’s play equipment.

Around 400 homes are already occupied on the former airfield site, now known as Haywood Village, which will eventually provide 2,500 new homes.

Between them, the two Weston Villages developments – Parklands Village, consisting of the former RAF Locking base and surrounding land, and Haywood Village – will provide up to 6,500 new homes and 10,000 jobs. Haywood Village Primary School is the first of up to five schools expected to be built to support these two developments.

Up to 5,000 jobs will be created at Weston Business Quarter associated to Haywood Village. As well as NSETC, Weston Business Quarter is already home to a thriving community of innovative and highly skilled technology, media and telecoms businesses centred around North Somerset Enterprise Agency’s Hive building and neighbouring units.

Nearby there is a Travelodge hotel which opened at Easter and the Landing Light pub.

Cllr Nigel Ashton, Leader of North Somerset Council, welcomed the fact that NSETC and Haywood Village Primary School are both on track to open to students next month.

“It’s particularly pleasing to see these education and community facilities coming forward to support this new development,” he said. “It will make a real difference to the residents to have their children attend a local school and to have access to the various community facilities.

“It marks another important milestone in the development of Haywood Village and is symbolic of our commitment to ensure homes, jobs, leisure, education and vital infrastructure are delivered side by side.

“Other developments planned for the area include a health centre and local shops. We are determined that the new Weston Villages will become self-sustaining and strong communities with their own identities and a sense of pride in where they live.”