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Work starts on £10.7m expansion of Samuel Pepys School

17 July 2023

Work has started on an expansion at Samuel Pepys School in St Neots which will enable it to meet the needs of more children and young people with special educational needs in the surrounding area.

The £10.7m scheme consists of a new block for Foundation stage and Key Stage 1 together with a new main entrance, meeting room, dining hall and kitchen.

It is being built on a car park previously owned by packaging manufacturer SEE® (formerly Sealed Air), and includes new landscaping and play areas, together with staff parking and drop-off facilities for children, and a new secure car park for SEE® staff.

The existing school buildings will also be refurbished and adapted to meet the needs of the school, including the post-16 wing at The Bargroves.

Construction work started this week and is due to be completed by the end of October 2024.

Headteacher Joanne Hardwick said: “The school community are looking forward to seeing the building works start, bringing much needed additional spaces and capacity for children and young people with SEND in St Neots. There will, no doubt, be much excitement for the pupils seeing cranes and diggers working on our new school building and we are all looking forward to benefitting from new spaces in which to learn, work and play.”

Cllr Bryony Goodliffe, Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee added: “I am delighted that this much-needed expansion has now started. Members and officers have been working exceptionally hard to tackle the shortage of special needs places in the county and the expansion of Samuel Pepys school will go a long way to addressing the problem in St Neots.”

Cllr Simone Taylor, local member for St Neots Eynesbury added: “It hasn’t been an easy journey to get to this point and the officers have worked very hard over some complex issues. Samuel Pepys special school is very well known and highly respected school in the St Neots community, currently providing specialist education for 102 pupils aged 3-19. Part of the Bargroves Centre has been used to accommodate extra pupils so it’s great to see work begin to increase the places to 165. I would like to thank packaging manufacturer SEE® (formerly Sealed Air), Joanne Hardwick Headteacher for patiently waiting and officers for all their dedication on this project as this will give much needed space for more students.”