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Crawley’s New Forge Wood school is officially opened

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A ribbon cutting ceremony has been held to officially mark the opening of a new school in Crawley which is being hailed as a ‘vibrant hub’ for children in the local community.

Representatives from Persimmon Homes, Mi-space, the HCA and Crawley Borough Council attended the event at the new Forge Wood Primary School to mark its official handing over to West Sussex County Council and multi-academy trust GLF Schools.

Housebuilders Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey started building a new community of 1,900 homes at Forge Wood in 2015. The school has been provided as part of a Section 106 Planning agreement, with Mi-space, part of the Midas Group, appointed to construct the new educational premises in January of this year.

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Part of the school opened in September for pupils in Reception and Year 1. Further work was carried out on the remaining classrooms with the school fully up and running after the October half-term. Forge Wood will become an all-through primary school in 2022.

Jo Newton, executive head teacher at Forge Wood School, said:

“Establishing a new school within a new and growing community provides a unique experience for everyone involved. We aimed to combine both the old and new, respecting the local history and natural environment of the area whilst being ambitious and modern in our vision for a new school. We are all delighted with the result.”

Martyn Clark, Managing Director at Persimmon Homes Thames Valley, said:

“We have been responsible for building the new Forge Wood neighbourhood, including Forge Wood Primary School. The new school building will provide a vibrant hub within the development offering state-of-the-art facilities for local children which also makes the most of its surrounding environment.

“The building is modular in its conception and has been designed by Stride Treglown architects to enable future expansion to accommodate another form. We believe we have created an environment that promotes engagement and learning.”

Susan Joseph, Sales and Marketing Director at Taylor Wimpey South Thames, adds:

“Forge Wood School is a welcome addition to the new and growing community at Forge Wood and we are pleased to see the first pupils settle into their permanent premises.”

Ian Farrell, Divisional Director at Mi-space, said: “We were delighted to have been a part of this project, helping to create such an impressive building which will give local children a strong start in their educational journey. “

Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, who is also the local County Councillor for the Pound Hill Division, which includes the Forge Wood neighbourhood, said:

“I’m delighted to see Forge Wood Primary School completed.

I’m sure the pupils will love the state-of-the-art building and the excellent facilities will help all of them to reach their potential.”

Forge Wood is one of the latest additions to the growing GLF group, which runs more than 20 schools across Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, based on a collaborative management approach.

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Community

New £100k pedestrian crossing for families’ taking children to school installed in West Green

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West Green Primary School Business Manager Annette pictured trying the new crossing with her daughter before the school reopened.

A new pedestrian crossings has been installed in the past few months and is now operational, helping families with the walk to a school in West Green.

The crossing in Crawley cost £100,00 and is aimed to improve safety for families with school-age children – plus pedestrians generally.

With schools reopening and roads becoming busier after lockdown, people are being encouraged to leave their cars at home and consider other travel choices.

Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said:

“The new crossings provide a safer route to schools for families and to other local amenities for pedestrians generally.

“People are being encouraged to consider walking or cycling for their journeys, if they can. It’s a great way to get fit, save fuel money and reduce the number of cars on the road. This in turn will improve air quality and reduce congestion.”

West Green Primary School requested the Puffin crossing for West Green Drive and worked with the county council’s transport improvements team to build the case for road safety improvements.

Other enhancements had already been introduced, including ‘School Keep Clear’ markings, to provide pupils and parents with a safer environment.

Throughout this process, West Green continued to provide pupils with road safety education and encourage sustainable travel.

West Green Primary School Business Manager Annette Tomsett said:

“The school is delighted to have worked closely with West Sussex County Council in bringing to fruition this crossing. It will make a huge difference in the safe route to school for our pupils and families, alongside having a positive impact for the whole community for now and for the future.”

The improvements cost a total of about £100,000.

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