New School, New Start

Work has started to build a brand new £9m primary school in North Solihull.

The new Bishop Wilson Church of England Primary School is being built in what will be the heart of a new village centre at Craig Croft, Chelmsley Wood.

The school will be two-form entry, with a nursery. It will also house the relocated St Andrew's Church, an adult learning centre, community space, health facilities and external areas, including a multi-use games area and sports pitch.

It will open its doors to pupils in September 2013.

Councillor Ian Courts, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: "This school will be the centrepiece of the new village centre. The children have been heavily involved in having a say in what they'd like to see in their new school, and it must be very exciting for them to now see work starting. This will be a great community facility and a significant step forward in the regeneration of the area and  I very much look forward to the day, next year, when the school will be able to open its doors to the next generation of pupils."

Headteacher of Bishop Wilson Church of England School, Jonathan Kirk, said: 'We are very excited that work has now started. So much detailed planning will result in this fantastic project delivering a state of the art community building which will help develop the life-long learning prospects of all its users. Solihull Council and the Birmingham Diocese are to be congratulated for supporting this project and bringing it to this point. Our children can't wait to learn in their new school building!'

Both the school and the village centre are part of the ongoing regeneration of North Solihull. Planning permission for the village centre has also been granted, enabling both pieces of the scheme to fit together.

The village centre will include new shops, including a convenience store, offices, an Enterprise Centre, a dentists, pharmacy and health centre. The surrounding Chester Road will be reduced from a dual carriageway to a 40mph single carriageway in each direction, with the creation of a new signalled junction taking traffic into the village centre.