The Northgate site in Bridgwater is owned by Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Council.
We plan to build a new school on the site of the old Blake Hospital, also known as the old Bridgwater Union Workhouse.
Bridgwater needs a new school to meet the increasing demand for school places in the area. In the last four years demand for school places has increased by 20 per cent and will rise further with the arrival of more than 3,000 new homes and the construction of Hinkley Point C power station.
We have carefully considered all the options and unfortunately it is not possible or affordable to redevelop the existing building to accommodate a school. The Blake Hospital building will need to be demolished and a new school will be built on the site.
The reasons why the current building cannot be redeveloped include
- The cost – it is more expensive to convert the existing building. The conversion costs total £6,271,520. The demolition costs are £300,000 and building a new school is estimated to cost £5,777,037.
- It would not be possible to convert the building to meet the statutory requirements for classroom sizes as specified by the Department for Education.
- It would not be possible to convert the building within the required timescales to open the school in September 2017.
- Considerable amounts of asbestos would need to be removed which pose a health and safety risk.
- Development of the Northgate site is in partnership with Sedgemoor District Council. Converting the building would impact on the development of the rest of the site and make it commercially unviable.
You can read a full report on the feasibility of redeveloping the Blake Hospital building.