Ipswich: Gummer’s praise for design of new academy for Chantry area

An artist's impression of the Suffolk New Academy.

An artist's impression of the Suffolk New Academy. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer has given a glowing endorsement of the proposed Suffolk New Academy after being given a detailed explanation of the plans by principal Andrew Fell.

And he rounded on critics who have criticised the design for being unimaginative.

Mr Gummer visited the academy on Friday, five days after the plans were formally published by the borough’s planning department.

He had warned that the previous Labour government had spent so much on some of its landmark schools and colleges that it was difficult to find funding for other projects.

However after seeing the plans with Mr Fell, he believed that the new buildings, on the site of the former Chantry High School, would be very high quality.

He said: “It is a stunning design by one of the most respected firms of architects in the business. It will be a wonderful building both inside and out.

“It will be just what the students from the Chantry area deserve to enable them to be taught in the best possible environment.”

Providing all the planning hurdles are crossed, work on the new building – to be built in the same place as the current Suffolk New Academy – should start before the end of the current academic year.

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It should be completed by the start of the 2015/16 academic year.

The building will have room for up to 900 students – about 100 more than are currently on the roll – but that is not as large as the current academy because the sixth form was transfered when Suffolk One opened nearby in 2010.