Leeds secondary school plan for heart of city’s business district

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Plans for a new secondary school in the heart of the Leeds business district are being drawn up by government education chiefs.

The Education Funding Agency has submitted an application to Leeds City Council asking for notification of prior approval for the development, which will be under the gaze of Bridgewater Place.

Proposals include converting The Embankment, a six storey U-shaped building, to a state-funded school which at full capacity will have 600 pupils aged between 11 and 18.

It will take year seven pupils for the first year and then build up the numbers incremently.

If prior planning approval is given the go-ahead, the Education Funding Agency says the formation of a school trust to manage the education establishment will follow.

A spokesperson said: “There is demand for secondary schools in Leeds City Centre and therefore the EFA is confident that a school trust would be confirmed for the building shortly after the determination of this submission.”

Preliminary discussions have already taken place between the applicants and council planners who have asked for information regarding transport, a travel plan for the school and also arrangements for when Neville Street is closed for safety due to high winds.

Previous planning history for The Embankment shows outline permission was granted in October 1987 for a part 2, 3, 4 and 5 storey office block with restaurant, wine bar, shop, parking and a riverside terrace and courtyard. More detailed plans were submitted the following year but the current legal use of the site is classed as office space.

It was the home of professional service company KPMG until it re-located to Sovereign Square in December.

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