St John’s Marlborough is moving ahead with plans to construct a major new sports development, having been given the green light by Wiltshire Council.
The planning application, to develop a second sports hall and changing rooms, two all-weather games courts, and additional landscaped recreation space for students was approved by Wiltshire Council earlier this week. As a result, St John’s now aims to commence construction during the summer break, once all the related government approvals are in place.
The large area of rough ground outside the main entrance to St John’s has been earmarked for development for many years. A lack of funds led to the area being mothballed when the new school buildings first opened in 2009, with an intention to eventually raise the required funds to use the area to enhance sports facilities. Subsequently part of the space was used for the Sixth Form centre, and the new sports development will provide facilities on the remaining space, which will be available for use by students and by community groups outside school hours.
The funding for the new project is from a £1 Million contribution from Section 106 development funding, provided by several developers of new housing developments in Marlborough, including Redrow’s Salisbury Road housing development, plus £400,000 funding from the St John’s Foundation Trust and a further £400,000 from the school’s own reserves. This provides St John’s with the funds required for the main build, and Principal Ian Tucker is now looking at options to fund the final landscaping and student social areas. Ian Tucker said:
“This is an exciting and significant development for St John’s and I am delighted that, with the support of Martin Cook, our Director of Logistics, I will be able to oversee the construction of these new facilities. They will be of huge benefit to our students and will also finally give us the opportunity to develop this unused area in our grounds, which is, frankly, quite an eyesore. The development will additionally create an opportunity for us to strengthen our links with the wider community by making these facilities available to local clubs and organisations.
We will soon be looking at a range of ways to raise the funds we need to complete the project, including landscaping, seating areas, and other enhancements to our sports provision for students and for the wider community. We know that our students and our school families will all be excited to see these new facilities, and it will be a priority for us to raise the funds we need over the coming months.”