Gloucestershire school named Education Project of the Year

A new school in Cheltenham has been named Education Project of the Year at a property awards night celebrating the very best property and construction projects across the south west.

By Sarah Kent  |  Published
The High School Leckhampton in Cheltenham opened in 2021 and has been recognised for its outstanding architecture, facilities and community offering.

The High School Leckhampton has been awarded the highest accolade at the Michelmores Property Awards 2023, taking home the Education Project of the Year award after seeing off competition from across the south west region.

The much-anticipated secondary school opened on Farm Lane in Leckhampton, Cheltenham, in September 2021 after several years of construction, with delays that saw a temporary site erected for a year on the grounds of its sister school, Balcarras Academy in Charlton Kings.

The £35 million state-of-the-art carbon neutral school was recognised for 'overcoming significant challenges and responding to a genuine need within the local community; demonstrating high-quality architecture and design, and fitting seamlessly into its natural surroundings.'

Its impressive facilities include six science labs, 10 ICT suites, a music suite, drama studio and 400-seat auditorium. Its strong sports offering boasts a full-size floodlit AstroTurf pitch, grass playing fields, a sports hall, fitness suite and six outdoor tennis tables, too. 

The popular school, which is run by the Balcarras Academy Trust, currently accommodates four forms of entry per year across Key Stage 3 in Year 7 and Year 8, and will eventually rise to six forms of entry with a capacity of 900 students at its peak, spanning Years 7 to 11. Students also have the option to attend Balcarras Academy's sixth form centre for further education beyond GCSEs.

Dominic Burke, headteacher at Balcarras Academy and CEO of Balcarras Academy Trust, said: 'We are absolutely delighted that The High School Leckhampton has been recognised by winning this terrific award.

'The building is a flagship project and was the result of a real team effort between the Balcarras Trust, Gloucestershire County Council, Kier Construction, AHR Architects and the other contractors involved.'

Councillor Philip Robinson, cabinet member responsible for education at Gloucestershire County Council, added: 'This £35 million school is a significant part of the council’s investment into our county’s schools as part of our commitment to provide the best environments for our children and young people to achieve their potential.

'I am delighted that the team behind this project has been recognised for its hard work in delivering a fantastic school allowing pupils access to high quality education.'

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