This Government programme aims to replace the worst condition schools in the country. Bids were invited from Local Authorities by the middle of October last year. There were around 580 bids made and The Manor was one of 261 bids approved. It is also particularly welcome that The Manor is identified as being in the early phases of the programme so we may not have to wait too long to see some results on the ground
The Conservative led County Council submitted a single bid on behalf of Manor Community College for the rebuilding of the majority of school accommodation on its current site. The bid identified The Manor as the County’s top priority for investment and we chose not to submit multiple bids, as many other Authorities did, so that we could focus our effort on our top priority, champion the bid and respond to DfE requests for information immediately. Approval probably justifies this approach.
The proposal also includes an element of expansion in the size of the school recognising the pressure for pupil places in Cambridge City. This will provide much welcome extra secondary school capacity in the City.
The bid identified the need for around £10m of investment in the school site to deliver the Plan which was worked up between the Council, the school and our design consultants Mouchel.
Ben Slade, headteacher at the Arbury Road school, said it was “fantastic news” for the students and to north Cambridge as a whole, which he said last week was still the victim of prejudice in the city.
He said: “It is a particularly unattractive building at the moment. Inside we have done a good job but as you walk around certain parts of the school it does have the look of a 1960s car park – rather than a vibrant centre of learning, which it is inside.”
“I think it will raise the morale of the staff and the pride of the children as well as the community”
In terms of thanks I would single out Ben Slade for his continued championing of Manor School and the consultant team from Mouchel for the quality of the condition information and concept plans produced which represented a significant contribution in making the case to the DfE.
Great work from the officers and Cabinet member.