Ipswich: MP Ben Gummer expresses delight as Suffolk New Academy promised new buildings by 2015

Suffolk New Academy principal Andrew Fell (middle) and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer (right) are celebrating

Suffolk New Academy principal Andrew Fell (middle) and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer (right) are celebrating after redevelopment work was confirmed to be complete by 2015.

An MP has expressed his delight after plans to redevelop an academy in Suffolk were brought forward, quashing fears work on the government-funded building project could be delayed.

Suffolk New Academy in Ipswich, formerly known as Chantry High School, was told in May 2012 it was one of 261 schools selected by the government to be rebuilt under the Priority School Building Programme.

The scheme will see the current buildings, which are 50 years old, replaced with a completely new school.

But Andrew Fell, Suffolk New Academy principal, expressed his disappointment in March after it emerged that most of the schools chosen still had no idea when the investment would be made nine months after the announcement.

But Mr Fell last night spoke of his delight after it was revealed the government, which had earmarked 2018 as the end date of the project, announced the new buildings will be ready by the summer of 2015.

Mr Fell said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the acceleration of the build programme.

“We have worked tirelessly to ensure that our students and young people have the very best facilities available to them in the shortest possible time. I am particularly grateful to all who are helping to bring this decision forward.”

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Work on the building project is planned to start in the summer of 2014 and will provide state-of-the-art facilities for the academy students.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said he was “absolutely thrilled” for the academy.

“Everyone at the school – pupils, teachers, head teacher, sponsors and parents – has worked incredibly hard to bring the academy to fruition in the past few years,” he said.

“They deserve the new buildings that they are now going to get very soon. It was a real joy to address primary school pupils in Chantry last week knowing that many would now be going to a brand new school.

“This is great news for Suffolk New Academy, the community of Chantry and for Ipswich.”

New Academies Trust chairman Roger Fern said: “Students and staff at the academy are working hard and achieving great results, and the new build will enable them to do even better, which is brilliant for them and for the wider community.”