Government approves high-quality new free school for Nottingham’s Trent Basin Neighbourhood

The Department for Education has approved Greenwood Academies Trust, one of the leading education charities in the country, to open a new free school serving families at Trent Basin in Nottingham.

The successful application to establish Waterside Primary Academy is the result of a partnership between the academy trust, which runs 34 schools across the East Midlands, including several in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire; Nottingham City Council; and Blueprint, the regeneration company delivering Trent Basin.

The 420-place new free school, which will open in September 2021, will ensure that families moving into the new homes at Trent Basin as part of the Waterside regeneration project will be able to send their children to a primary school run by an academy trust with a proven track record in delivering high-quality education. Greenwood Academies Trust also intends to open a 60-place nursery alongside Waterside Primary Academy after consulting with the nursery sector locally to ensure there would be no negative impact on existing provision.

Greenwood Academies Trust runs 24 primary academies, all of them rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted. This month, a study by Education Datalab FFT ranked GAT as the best academy trust in the country for primary education.

The six-phase riverside Trent Basin development, is central to Nottingham’s flagship 250-acre Waterside regeneration area that intends to transform the north bank of the River Trent from Trent Bridge to the city boundary. Trent Basin will create a new community of 500 low energy homes including tall canal-style townhouses, apartments, three and four-bedroom homes and complete the regeneration of a concrete basin formerly used for unloading cargo by Trent barges. 

Graham Feek, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Greenwood Academies Trust, said:

“We are so excited that the Government has given us the go-ahead to set up Waterside Primary Academy. As with all our academies, we will ensure that Waterside delivers high-quality inclusive education to suit the 420 pupils and their individual needs so that they are all given the opportunities they deserve to achieve their potential. I would like to thank our partners in this project, Nottingham City Council and Blueprint, for their support and we look forward to working with them over the coming months to bring the school to fruition.”

Mike Hamlin, Chair of Greenwood Academies Trust said:

“Waterside Primary Academy will play an essential part in building and sustaining an exciting new community within Nottingham. We are very proud of the education we deliver to all the children and young people we are privileged to serve, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, ensuring they receive a great education both inside and outside the classroom – Waterside Primary Academy will be no different.”

Nottingham City Council Leader Cllr David Mellen said:

“Proposals for a new school in Nottingham’s newest neighbourhood are very welcome. We have long wanted to develop the Waterside area into a new sustainable community linked to the city centre and adjoining neighbourhoods like Sneinton. In our planning blueprint along with other features, such as transport links and high-quality homes, we included a school.

“Greenwood Academies Trust has worked well with the council to develop the proposals, which will help to boost the viability of further development, as well as providing much-needed extra school places and a high-quality learning environment for local children. This comes on top of the £42m we have invested since 2009 to provide 5,000 additional primary places to meet rising demand and ensure that every child and young person has access to the very best facilities to help them reach their full potential.”

Sam Veal, Chief Executive of Blueprint, the award-winning regeneration developer behind the design-led, low-energy, Trent Basin, said:

Trent Basin continues to focus on neighbourhood and this announcement is a significant step towards establishing a truly exceptional community with a clear identity and with its own sense of place. It will be amazing to have a new primary school on our doorstep, particularly to serve those young families that are now emerging. The Greenwood Academies Trust has an excellent reputation and we look forward to working in partnership with them, and our residents, to build not only the school but also a supporting community around it.”

(l-r) Mike Hamlin, Chair of Greenwood Academies Trust; Sam Veal, Chief Executive of Blueprint; Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council; Graham Feek, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Greenwood Academies Trust at Trent Basin in Nottingham.

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