Secondary school's £5m expansion project as demand for places soars in line with residential development in Horsforth

A £5m expansion project has started at Horsforth School as demand for places in north and west Leeds increases in line with property development.

A groundbreaking ceremony event was held to mark work starting on the project, attended by representatives from Morgan Sindall Construction, Horsforth School, Pagabo and Leeds City Council.

A new two storey teaching block will accommodate 365 new students, including 65 sixth formers, taking the school's capacity to 1,765, and will enable the creation of a further 20 full-time jobs.

The new 1,658 square metre building will include classrooms, science labs, computer rooms and a library. It is being built on the existing tennis courts, with four new courts being built to replace them.

(Front L-R): Andy Hall (Yorkshire and North East managing director, Morgan Sindall Construction), Emma Dowson (finance director, Horsforth School), Rosemary Edwards (chair of Trustee Board, Horsforth School), Dr Paul Bell (headteacher, Horsforth School), Karen Carter (business development manager, Pagabo Nick Theos (project manager, Morgan Sindall Construction).

There will also be a new school entrance on the south of the site together with the construction of new sports facilities and 20 new car parking spaces.

Works are expected to be completed in Spring 2022.

Horsforth School was opened in 1972 and currently educates around 1,400 students, aged between 11 and 18, but it is presently over-subscribed. The expansion is in response to extra demand created by residential developments in the LS18 postcode.

Dr Paul Bell, headteacher at Horsforth School said: “We are absolutely delighted to have broken ground and to have started our expansion. This is a vital development for the families in Horsforth, many of whom would go to other schools if we did not expand and we are pleased to be working with Leeds City Council to meet the area’s basic need.

“I look forward to the exciting new facilities it will bring to our existing students and to welcoming the extra 60 students per year in Year 7.”

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The firm is working with Leeds City Council, consultant partners and Leeds further education providers to raise aspirations and professional career attainment with work placements in management roles and career coaching for young people coming out of care.

Other employment and training opportunities within the build programme will also be created, as well as sessions with students at Horsforth School and other local educational institutions in order to demonstrate the many rewarding career paths within construction - on and off the building site.

Nick Theos, Morgan Sindall Construction’s project manager for the scheme said: “It’s great to finally get started on this brilliant new addition to Horsforth School. The past year has reiterated how crucial quality learning environments are for both students and teachers, and so it’s a real privilege to help build a new facility that will go some way to helping the students at Horsforth reach their potential.

“We’ve really looking forward to holding sessions with the students so we can share insights into the many different stages of a construction project, and demonstrate that there’s much more to our industry than just what can be seen out on site.”

Coun Jonathon Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, added: “It’s fantastic to see work to expand Horsforth School get underway. We’re committed to meeting the increasing demand for secondary school places across Leeds and are working hard to make sure every child gets a place at one of their preferred schools.

"This expansion will play an important role in achieving that ambition. It’s also vital that we do everything we can to improve employment and training opportunities and I’m pleased that Morgan Sindall Construction has committed to providing these within the build programme so that young people can learn more about a career in construction.

“This is in addition to the work they are doing with us and other partners to provide opportunities for local care leavers. I’m looking forward to seeing the build progress and the great opportunities for people in Leeds that will come with it.”