Plans for an eduction hub in White City which will include a new school, housing, and community facilities have been the green light by Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
Planning permission was given in March for EdCity, an ambitious project which will “bring lots of benefits to the local community over the coming years”.
It will include a ground-breaking Youth Zone, billed as “more than a youth centre”, which will offer a huge range of affordable activities and inspiring sports, arts, music, mentoring and employability programmes to young people from eight to 19 (and up to 25 for those with additional needs).
It is the product of work between Hammersmith and Fulham Council and young people's charity OnSide and will include indoor sports facilities and a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) for basketball, trampolining, cricket, volleyball, badminton, table tennis and five-a-side football, all on top of regular activities such as art, drama, music, dance and, sports, as well as trips away.
A new Ark Swift Primary Academy will also be built, and have use of the Youth Zone’s facilities during school hours.
The EdCity development will sit between Australia Road, Dorando Close and South Africa Road on land currently occupied by Ark Swift Primary Academy, Harmony Neighbourhood Nursery and the Adult Community Learning Centre.
EdCity will include:
A new school: Ark Swift Primary Academy would move straight from the existing school site into brand new, top-class facilities
Expanded nursery: Harmony Neighbourhood Nursery will be rebuilt and expanded, nearly doubling its intake to benefit up to 75 local children
Revamped adult education centre: This existing education facility will be rebuilt and expanded, offering a real benefit to local people. It will continue to be managed by Hammersmith and Fullham Council
- 132 new homes: 28 of these will be for key workers such as teachers, including those who are employed by Ark and the local council. 38 homes will be for social rents, helping to meet local need, while the remaining 66 will be for private rent. The homes will be built above the school and nursery, as well as in a new residential building
- The first OnSide Youth Zone in west London
- New offices: Ark will relocate its head office to this new office building, while other charities and commercial partners will also be able to rent space, allowing new organisations to relocate to White City
- A new public square: This will also provide access to the Youth Zone, adult community learning centre and offices
Andrew McLean, EdCity development manager, said: “We are delighted that the committee recognised the significant benefits that EdCity will bring to the area, whether you are a parent looking for great education for your child, a young person looking to discover a new talent, an adult looking to learn a new skill or a charity looking for affordable office space.”
“There are so many opportunities in Hammersmith and Fulham and more being created every day, we want everyone to be able to take advantage of them.” said Cllr Sue Macmillan, cabinet member for children and education at Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
“This is why we’re so glad we could play such a key role in this development - providing the land needed for it to go ahead and funding in the years to come. It will help give all young people their very best shot at everything life has to offer.”
Among others looking forward to the plans is Jason Marantz, principal at Ark Swift Primary Academy. He said: “This is very exciting for Ark Swift.
“We cannot wait to move into our new, state-of-the-art educational facilities and see our pupils benefit from all the opportunities that will be created by being part of EdCity.”
Construction could begin this summer with the new Ark Swift Primary Academy and OnSide Youth Zone opening in 2020, the new Harmony Neighbourhood Nursery opening in 2021 and all construction work complete by 2022.
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