Construction work is well underway for the new Winchburgh Academy.
Executive councillor for education David Dodds and Depute Chief Executive Elaine Cook recently visited the site of the new state-of-the-art school to see the initial works taking place.
The new school is expected to be open in 2023 and will offer non-denominational education for 660 young people to cope with the increasing demand in the expanding village, which has been designated a core development area.
The innovative design of the school means that it can be expanded to accommodate up to 1,210 pupils as the village increases in size.
Winchburgh Academy is part of West Lothian’s biggest ever investment in education, a £60.7 million project to build two new secondary schools and a primary school as well as a shared sport, leisure and community facility in Winchburgh.
Executive councillor for education David Dodds said: “Winchburgh Academy promises to be another fantastic school for West Lothian, providing the perfect venue for top-quality education.
“The scale of development in the village means that Winchburgh Academy will be needed to cater for demand for secondary education.
“The adjacent shared facility will also be a valuable resource for all the new schools and the wider community, offering a hub for sport, leisure and community activities.
“With one of the best school estates in the country and continually rising educational attainment, it’s no surprise that more and more families are choosing to make West Lothian their home.”
The project is being delivered on behalf of the council by its development partner Hub South East, with Morrison Construction as the primary contractor. This is the same team who have a strong track record with new schools, with the successful delivery of the award-winning West Calder High School.
Scott Brown, Hub South East’s Projects Director said: “It’s exciting to see the plans for the new Winchburgh Academy becoming a step closer to reality as initial works start on site.
“We’re proud to continue our successful partnership with West Lothian Council, and to be entrusted with its latest significant investment in education.
“We look forward to delivering this new secondary school alongside other schools in Winchburgh, realising a range of community benefits and ensuring social value for the local community during construction.”
Eddie Robertson, Managing Director for Morrison Construction Building Central, commented: “The Academy is a key part of the wider Winchburgh schools scheme. The fantastic collaboration between ourselves, Hub South East and West Lothian Council is what makes an ambitious project like this possible, and we look forward to working with our partners to deliver a high-quality facility for the pupils of the future.”
The schools project is partly funded with the support of a unique tri-partite agreement between West Lothian Council, The Scottish Government and Winchburgh Developments Ltd (WDL), a joint venture between West Coast Capital and CALA Homes.
WDL is the lead developer on the £1 billion masterplan for Winchburgh which will deliver new greenspaces including the 78-acre Auldcathie District Park, a new canal marina, new railway station and motorway junction and at least 3,800 new homes.
Over 5,000 new jobs are expected to be generated by the completion of the overall Winchburgh masterplan.
John Hamilton, CEO of Winchburgh Developments Ltd added: “It’s great to see work starting on Winchburgh Academy, meaning construction is now underway for all three new schools that will be based at the new campus adjacent to Auldcathie Park, which also includes Sinclair Academy and Holy Family Primary School.
“These schools provide crucial education capacity for Winchburgh and will ensure that the growing community’s young people have access to state-of-the-art facilities located within fantastic greenspaces.”