New net-zero primary school to open within Trent Basin neighbourhood

Blueprint has worked with Nottingham City Council (NCC) and the Greenwood Academy Trust to support a bid for a brand-new free school, The Waterside Primary Academy, which will be funded and delivered by the Department for Education. 

The Waterside Primary Academy is now being built at Trent Basin on land adjoining the Blueprint homes and will mirror the developer’s commitment to sustainability, by being one of the first schools in the country to be built based on the updated net-zero operation guidance. 

Blueprint acquired the land for the school from MTVH, which was then sold to the Department for Education, and has assisted NCC with a grant bid to secure funding for the adopted highway that will provide access to the school.  

Reds10 has been appointed by the Department for Education to be the main contractor responsible for designing and building the school and will be creating 87 per cent of the building in its factory as part of the development’s focus on sustainability. Offsite construction reduces the amount of carbon emitted during the construction of the building and reduces site disruption. 

Due to open its doors for the academic year 2024/25, the academy will serve up to 210 pupils, 30 full-time nursery places, and will employ 22 staff members. The project has been overseen by the Department for Education and will be operated by Greenwood Academy Trust. 

Samantha Veal, CEO at Blueprint, said: “Over the last seven years, the growth of our sustainable new neighbourhood has led to more families choosing city living over moving out to the suburbs, resulting in a demand for more local education sites.  

“The addition of The Waterside Primary Academy will be great for the families that live at Trent Basin and the expanding neighbourhoods around our development. Schools are so important communities, the Waterside Primary Academy will make this already popular area even more appealing. It has been a pleasure to work with partners to bring this to the forefront of Trent Basin, all while ensuring it follows a similar focus on carbon reduction and innovation as the rest of the neighbourhood.”  

Wayne Norrie, Chief Executive of Greenwood Academies Trust, said: “We are delighted to receive the green light and see work now begin on the construction of The Waterside Primary Academy. It will provide much-needed primary school places for the families in the community, and we are thrilled to be extending the GAT family to include this innovative school.”  

Councillor Cheryl Barnard, Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education at Nottingham City Council, said: “We welcome this development which builds on our ongoing efforts to ensure that every child and young person has access to the very best facilities to help them reach their full potential. 

“There was a long-held ambition to develop the Waterside area into a new sustainable community linked to the city centre and adjoining neighbourhoods. A new school is another important step in supporting its creation and delivering the Council’s regeneration plans for the area.” 

Comprising high-quality, low-energy homes, Trent Basin is a design-focused residential community that kick-started the regeneration of 250 acres of brownfield land, making it one of the largest urban regeneration areas of its kind in Europe. 

With over 100 homes now complete across the development and fast becoming one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in the city, the next phase of over 100 homes was awarded planning consent earlier this year, with the next wave of new homes commencing in 2024. This future phase will include a new pocket park and provide land for an important mobility hub funded by Nottingham City Council following their successful grant application to Transforming Cities. 

The Waterside Primary Academy will be located on Trent Lane, Nottingham NG2 4DT. 

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