Lord Heseltine launches Richmond Education and Enterprise project (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)
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Lord Heseltine launches Richmond Education and Enterprise project
Former deputy prime minister and Haymarket chairman Lord Heseltine officially launched the Richmond Education and Enterprise project this week.
Senior representatives from Richmond College, Richmond Council, Harlequins Rugby Club and Haymarket were at York House on Monday, December 16, as plans were announced.
The project for a campus on the college’s Egerton Road site included a new building for Richmond College, a new free secondary school, a purpose-built home for the Clarendon special needs school and a new UK headquarters for Haymarket’s 1,100 staff.
The media giant is currently based in Teddington, with plans to build 250 homes on the site of the old Teddington Studios unveiled earlier this year.
Lord Heseltine said: “This is an exciting day for Haymarket as we join our partners in launching plans for this innovative campus of education and enterprise.
“This campus builds on our 35 years in the borough and our proud history of working with schools, colleges and universities both locally and nationally.”
MP for Twickenham Vince Cable also spoke at the event, expressing his ambition for the area to become a force in the media industry.
He said: “This part of London has the potential to be a part of a really big cluster, with Sky just up the road.
“I do realise there are still big challenges to overcome such as planning, which people are very precious about and in some cases, rightly so.
“The other big requirement is going to be the money of course.”
Proposals for the school need to be given the green light by the Department for Education, taking in 150 pupils each year, opening in September 2017.
If approved the school will be a five form entry, non-selective, coeducational, non-faith secondary school with sixth form provision being provided through Richmond College.
Richmond College principal David Ansell said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the college to work in collaboration with colleagues from both the education, commercial and sporting worlds to fashion an innovative campus offering unparalleled opportunities to young people in our borough and beyond.
“We are looking forward to an exciting future.”
Leader of the council Lord True said: “Today is a momentous occasion for partnership working in our borough.
“It has been a long-term ambition for this Council to have another new secondary school.
“In addition to this, we will be creating a new purpose-built SEN provision, something that is much needed in this borough and securing the future for Richmond College.
“I am thrilled that we are able to deliver all of this, whilst being able to involve Haymarket Media Group and the Harlequins in each project.”
The planning process for phase one of the development, the new college building and Haymarket building, is due to commence in spring 2014, with the second phase, including the schools, set for autumn.
Construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2015, with Haymarket’s buildings due for completion in late 2016, with the school’s and the college’s the following year.
There will also be residential developments, for which timelines were described as “uncertain”.
Harlequins’ chief executive David Ellis said: “The project particularly provides a unique opportunity to work with other partners in our community on an exciting development that has the potential to make a real difference to the young people of the borough.”
For more information on the project, visit reec.org.uk.
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