Plans for new state-of-the-art Bury St Edmunds sixth form are approved

PUBLISHED: 07:30 08 December 2018

A computer generated image inside the new building Picture: ABBEYGATE SFC

A computer generated image inside the new building Picture: ABBEYGATE SFC


Building work to create a new multi-million pound sixth form centre in Bury St Edmunds can now start as detailed plans were rubber-stamped after being scrutinised by councillors.

Another impression of the new building Picture: ABBEYGATE SFCAnother impression of the new building Picture: ABBEYGATE SFC

Abbeygate Sixth Form College, which will be in the grounds of King Edward VI School, will be operated by the Suffolk Academies Trust, a collaboration between One Sixth Form College in Ipswich and West Suffolk College in Bury, and accommodate up to 1,700 students.

The opening of the new centre to students is now expected to be in spring 2020 following delays in ironing out the details of the planned building works.

Concerns have been raised over the loss of existing playing fields, parking and traffic congestion in Newmarket Road and Western Way, but overall councillors at the planning meeting on Thursday, December 6, were supportive of the project.

Afterwards committee member Terry Clements said the new state-of-the-art centre would benefit “the greater area” and “students in the future”.

David Gartland, principal of Abbeygate Sixth Form College Picture: ABBEYGATE SFCDavid Gartland, principal of Abbeygate Sixth Form College Picture: ABBEYGATE SFC

Abbeygate principal David Gartland said they were “absolutely delighted” the plans had been given the green light.

He said: “I’d like to thank everybody who has supported our vision so far. We are committed to investing in the young people of this region and to help in shaping their futures.

“Abbeygate will have a comprehensive curriculum offering in a specialist high specification building which will be fundamental in supporting all the fantastic students, teachers and support staff.

“We are very excited for the future and will continue to work with all parents and young people who will be our first Abbeygate students closely over the next few months.”

Sport England no longer object - but remain “concerned” - over the loss of an area of playing fields forming part of King Edward VI School as there will be improvements to the remaining playing fields and the existing sand-dressed artificial pitch will get a 3G surface.

Councillor Sara Mildmay-White, a member of the planning committee, said she had concerns over traffic in the western side of the town, adding there needed to be a long-term vision.

The council officers’ report said the highways authority had been “satisfied that the impacts of the scheme will be at an acceptable level following the improvements to nearby junctions”.

Students will initially be accommodated at the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College until building work is complete.

Abbeygate Sixth Form College will have about 200 teaching staff.

Partner schools in the project include King Edward VI School, Newmarket Academy, Stour Valley Community School, and Sybil Andrews Academy.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Bury Mercury visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Bury Mercury staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Bury Mercury account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other popular content

Get ready to feel the love as a Brit award-winning band is set to perform at Newmarket Nights in 2019.

A Suffolk authority promoting campaigns to stop smoking has reduced its pension investments in tobacco firms – but says it still will not disinvest in cigarette firms entirely.

A fresh purge of Suffolk’s potholes with an innovative road repair machine is set to kick off this week, thanks to cash from the Chancellor’s Budget.

Yesterday, 19:51

Two people have been killed in a collision on a road near Newmarket.

Local weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: -0°C

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Bury Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24