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Gresham's School proposes land sell-off

PUBLISHED: 15:50 14 January 2009 | UPDATED: 09:20 13 July 2010

An historic Norfolk private school is looking to sell off spare land to fund a major 20-year investment in improving facilities.

Gresham's School at Holt dates back 450 years, but its now setting out a wish list of projects to keep it competitive in the coming years.

An historic Norfolk private school is looking to sell off spare land to fund a major 20-year investment in improving facilities.

Gresham's School at Holt dates back 450 years, but its now setting out a wish list of projects to keep it competitive in the coming years.

It includes plans to relocate boarding house blocks, build a new sixth form, library and music centre and upgrade learning facilities across the senior and preparatory school.

But the key to turning the dream into reality lies with selling off land - starting with a 6.4ha field, between the bypass and Cromer Road campus.

The field is earmarked as a housing site, including affordable homes, in the new Local Development Framework planning blueprint being drawn up for north Norfolk.

AdelMacNicol, chairman of the governors' property committee, said: “Gresham's has been around 450 years, and we aim to be here another 450. But our only income is our fees, which are not enough to do everything we would like to invest and improve for the future.”

Selling the field would kick-start the programme, which would see the Tallis and Oakeley boarding houses - two of seven at the 830 pupil school, half of which are boarders - relocated to the main campus on the northern side of Cromer Road. That would in turn free up more land for potential development.

Mrs MacNicol said the public school world was increasingly competitive, and Gresham's needed to ensure its facilities were good - both for pupils and for potential outside hire in holidays.

Tallis house, for boys, was currently being refurbished and would come later in the redevelopment, but the school was keen to relocate the girls Oakeley house, right next to the main road, sooner to provide better privacy and security.

There were also plans for better staff housing at Gresham's which was the biggest employer in the area with 324 staff.

The school was however keen to ensure all developments blended in with the town with which it had enjoyed strong ties over centuries.


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