Thursday, 13 September 2012

Clifden Site sale completes for new schools in the borough

Richmond Council has today completed on the purchase of the Clifden Site in Twickenham, which has been acquired for schools use.

Contracts were exchanged for the site earlier this year but final completion was subject to a number of conditions, including Richmond Adult Community College (RACC) obtaining necessary Skill Funding Agency consent and the College obtaining approval for additional floor space at their extended site in Parkshot.

The 4.37 acre site and its buildings cost £8.45m, funded through the Council’s Education Capital Programme. Some of this cost will be offset by the sale to the College of a former Council office building adjacent to the Parkshot site, which raised £460k.

To reflect the Council’s commitment to adult education and enable the College to maintain continuity in their curriculum, for a short period the College will continue to lease part of the site for a peppercorn rent. In addition, in order to assist their move to Parkshot, the College will rent a very small part of Old Deer Car Park to help their construction works.

The Council has decided to lease parts of the site to the Diocese of Westminster for use for a new Catholic secondary school and a new Catholic primary school and has approved proposals for a new five form of entry Catholic secondary school and one form of entry Catholic primary school. However, there is currently a judicial review challenge to these decisions in the High Court.

Cllr Geoffrey Samuel, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Resources, said:

“I am delighted RACC agreed to sell this site to the Council and that the sale has now completed. It sets Richmond’s superb adult college on a strong basis to develop for the future and it is a major step forward for education in Twickenham, at both primary and secondary level. The site will enable a wider diversity of school provision in the Twickenham area and, subject to the ongoing judicial review process, will likely enable us to meet the Council’s longstanding wish to see a Catholic secondary school established within the borough.

“I would like to thank the College for their support and work on this deal over the last year and hope that our efforts to support their move to the Parkshot site will assist with improving adult education in the borough even further. This is a good deal for the Council, a good deal for the College but most important of all a good deal for education in the borough.”

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