Ipswich: St Joseph’s site sold to school in multi-million pound deal

St Joseph's College

St Joseph's College - Credit: Archant

St Joseph’s College in Ipswich has bought the freehold of its site from the religious order that founded the school.

The college was founded in 1937 by the Roman Catholic De La Salle religious order that runs educational institutions around the world.

In 1995 the boys’ school merged with the girls’ School of Jesus and Mary and became independent of the religious order.

However the De La Salle order continued to own the freehold of the school and received a rent from it.

Now the school has signed a multi-million pound deal to buy the freehold of the 60-acre site, a move which should enable it to seek further investment in future years.

The investment follows the College’s building of an award-winning Prep School; a state-of-the-art, floodlit artificial sports pitch; and the impending completion of new sports changing facilities.

In total, the school has invested about £10 million in its site over the last six years.

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Chair of Governors Josephine Lea said: “For many years we have wanted to secure the freehold interest in our campus which was retained by the De La Salle religious order when they left the site in 1995.

“This deal, the outcome of several years of discussions and complex negotiations, is great news for both Suffolk’s educational provision in general and for the future development of St Joseph’s College in particular.”

Owning the freehold would give the school much more scope to develop in the future.

Mrs Lea added: “As with any tenancy, there are limits to the level of investment that can be made in the fabric and facilities of a leased property and this deal provides a great platform for the next phase of development of the school.

“Our thanks go to Barclays Bank for their support and commitment as well as to the De La Salle Trust for their recognition of the importance of freehold ownership to the long-term development of St Joseph’s College.”

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