New Coventry school moves a step closer as officials admit they need more money

The former Woodlands Academy school on Broad Lane
The former Woodlands Academy school on Broad Lane -Credit:Nick Wilkinson

A new school in Coventry is moving a step closer as it prepares to open next year amid rising costs. Officials say the redevelopment of the former Woodlands School off Broad Lane in Tile Hill has taken a 'step forward' - but have had to ask for more money.

The scheme will bring together provision currently being delivered on two separate sites by Woodfield School, which was rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted earlier this year. A tendering process has finished for delivering the redevelopment - but at the same time officials have admitted they need more funds, just weeks after the council admitted it needed to borrow more money to transform the old IKEA building.

Now a report on the project will go to Coventry City Council’s Cabinet committee on May 14. That report, which officials say is expected to be approved, will ask for an extra £1.6m to deliver the project, which would create an additional 200 new school places for SEND pupils.

Read more: 'Beyond a joke' fume Coventry people over another arson attack at hotel

Read more: Beauty buffs say one bath 'makes your skin feel out of this world' with 'deeply cleansing' set

Officials have made the announcement as they explained why they say they need the extra money. They say additional funding is required because of "national inflationary pressures" they say have increased the costs of building materials.

The announcement also blames other factors for the project's bill going up. It says: "Other factors such as the complexities of the design and refurbishment of the listed building, survey costs and the increased timescales associated with the complex planning requirements have also impacted the cost of the development."

They say the cost of the capital refurbishment works has increased to £22.4 million, requiring an additional resource of £1.6m for the main contract. The total project costs are anticipated to be around £26.7m, which includes the project contingency and additional project fees, funded by existing education funding, officials say.

Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Councillor Dr Kindy Sandhu, said: "Creating additional SEND provision is a key priority for the council and this excellent scheme will help us achieve that. This project will transform and utilise a currently vacant education building with listed status, so I think it is key that we maximise and invest in our education assets for the benefit of children and young people and the local community.

"The completion of this project will provide a future-proofed fit-for-purpose educational environment, offering a full range of facilities including sport to learners, with the capacity to grow." It is anticipated that the new school will be open by September 2025.

Get daily headlines and breaking news emailed to you - it’s FREE