Woodlands Meed College rebuild can begin after contracts are signed

The building work to create a new college at Woodlands Meed can now start after contracts were today exchanged, 9 November 2021.

West Sussex County Council and the college Governors have signed a development agreement which will allow the project to progress. We have now appointed ISG as the main contractor so that the building work can start within weeks.

In recent weeks the County Council’s Cabinet approved an extra £1.6m, increasing the total budget for the project to £21.6m. This is to meet rising costs in the construction industry and outlines our ongoing commitment to significantly improving facilities for pupils who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) at the Burgess Hill college.

Nigel Jupp, Cabinet Member for Learning and Skills said: “Today’s news is hugely significant for the pupils, their families and the whole Woodlands Meed community. After many months of discussions with the college we have now resolved the few remaining matters and reached agreement on an exciting plan which will provide pupils with a brand new college and much improved facilities.

“Like everyone I am extremely pleased to have reached this point and I greatly look forward to the work now starting and the new facilities taking shape.”

The new college will:

• Include 12 new classrooms and specialist areas for design and technology, music, science and food technology
• Provide students with significantly more internal space
• Include high quality sporting facilities including all weather pitches, and a 2-court sports hall and accessible changing facilities
• Have a new hydrotherapy pool
• Have a host of new outside learning and play areas including classrooms, an outside gym, planting areas, and courtyard and amphitheatre space
• Be more suitable for pupils who have mobility issues

Today’s agreement means the project can move forward without further delay and within the new overall budget.

The work is scheduled to begin on site by early December although an earlier start date is being explored and the development will begin as soon as is practically possible. Updates on timescales will be shared on the Woodlands Meed project page.

This will allow the project to remain on target to complete the main building by Spring 2023 and the external works by Autumn 2023.

The plans were shown to families at two virtual engagement events last week.

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