Council supports plan for Barton school race track - believed to be first of its kind

Pictured from l to r: Ben Wilson, head of design technology at Baysgarth School, Barton Ward Cllrs Christine Patterson, Keith Vickers, and Paul Vickers, Cllr Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, Oscar Bell, student at the school and Andrew Browne, STEM co-ordinator at the school. Student Tilly Jenkins Foster is at the wheel.

A Barton-upon-Humber school has been given £40,000 by North Lincolnshire Council to help build a race track, believed to be a unique educational first.

Since 2018, pupils at Baysgarth School have designed and built Greenpower electric kit cars, gaining hands-on science, maths and engineering skills in the process. Students have competed at iconic tracks including Silverstone and secured apprenticeships at some of the region's biggest employers, including Ineos and Croda.

Baysgarth is now seeking sponsors to build its own racing track, believed to be the first of its kind at a school. The test track is to pave the way for the development of a regional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) centre at the school.

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"We’ve cultivated a real passion for STEM and sustainable energy at Baysgarth, providing students with phenomenal experiences in the process," said Jade Driscoll, head teacher at Baysgarth School. "Greenpower is already well integrated into the curriculum with reverse engineering sessions and electronic, friction and speed training kits, but this STEM project will further enhance this.

"The purpose-built track will allow students the opportunity to experience real-life pit stop challenges and to go full throttle around the course, whilst also developing skills and knowledge suitable for the local labour market." The track will also not just be available to the school's students. Ms Driscoll said it will also be open to the wider community for smaller group races, F1 grand prix style events, and more.

The secondary school aims to raise £130,000 to be able to build the track. The council's £40,000 investment together with the support of local organisations, student fundraising events, and the determination of the Baysgarth team has helped raised already the majority of the funding. "We would like to extend a huge thank you to North Lincolnshire Council for their significant investment, along with VPI Immingham, Cemex, RWE, Barrow Rotary and ADJ Surfacing, without whom this would not be possible," added Ms Driscoll.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for our young people, enabling them to gain hands-on, cutting-edge experience in STEM subjects and bringing design and technology to life in the most engaging way," said North Lincolnshire Council leader Cllr Rob Waltham. He added it had worked closely with Barton Ward councillors and the school.

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"North Lincolnshire is at the forefront of the UK’s green energy revolution, and this is a great example of how we can align school curriculums to the needs of employers in these emerging industries, helping our young people secure high-skill, high-wage local jobs." Besides racing, the track will also be an all-weather running track for local athletics groups, a safe environment to undertake cycling proficiency training, and host a range of wellbeing activities.

"The fact that this exciting project has already helped students secure apprenticeships with global science and chemical engineering companies is a brilliant testament, but we don’t want its impact to end there," said Cllr Julie Reed, cabinet member for children, families and communities. The investment would help more young people across North Lincolnshire benefit from high-quality, real-world experience in STEM subjects, she added.

"I’m looking forward to seeing work drive ahead on the track." Any businesses keen to support the students in their green initiative can back the project on JustGiving, or by contacting the school. The school will provide updates on the project via its Facebook page, here.