Outline plans to redevelop Ark Swift Primary Academy, Harmony Neighbourhood Nursery, the Adult Community Learning Centre and surrounding land in White City will go on display at a public consultation event on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 November.
Several partner organisations, including Ark Swift and Harmony, are working together to redevelop the site and bring forward draft plans for an innovative new education hub called EdCity.
The consultation event will take place on Friday 11 November 2016 from 4pm – 9pm at the White City Community Centre and on Saturday 12 November 2016 from 10am – 4pm at Ark Swift Primary Academy.
Jack Sallabank, EdCity project manager, said: “EdCity is a ground-breaking project where organisations with a shared mission will collaborate to improve education standards in the local community, London and beyond. Our priority now is talking to the local community to gather feedback on the draft plans – we want to hear from as many people as possible and work with them to shape this project.”
The proposals are designed to deliver a brand new, state-of-the-art facility for Ark Swift Primary Academy, as well as improved play space for pupils. In addition, EdCity would provide expanded facilities for Harmony Neighbourhood Nursery, increasing its capacity from 46 to 75 spaces. The proposals also include plans to expand the Adult Community Learning Centre, allowing it to provide more education and training to local people.
A further feature of EdCity is a proposed new Youth Zone, run by leading young people’s charity OnSide. This would offer affordable activities in sports, arts, music, employability and mentoring to young people aged from eight to 19, or up to 25 for those with a disability, every day of the week.
EdCity will also provide affordable and modern new workspace, leased to charities and social enterprises focused on education, encouraging collaboration and co-working. The organisations based at EdCity will also be required to demonstrate their commitment to the White City community by offering mentoring and volunteering opportunities to local people, creating additional routes into employment and higher education.
The draft plans include new homes that will be offered to key workers in education, helping to attract and retain the best teaching talent for the local community. The layout for EdCity will also create a new pedestrian and cycle route between the White City estate and Dorando Close, opening up the site and improving links to Wood Lane, the tube stations and new developments in the area.
Jason Marantz, the principal at Ark Swift Primary Academy, said: “We are delighted to be working as part of the team to make EdCity a reality. The project offers an excellent opportunity to invest in Ark Swift and its pupils, ensuring that it continues to improve and develop for years to come.”
Jana Hassan, manager of Harmony Neighbourhood Nursery, said: “EdCity is a very ambitious project and we are excited about the new and expanded facilities that it will deliver for us, which will allow us to offer our Ofsted-outstanding care and education to more children from the local community.”
Dr Mark Ward, Project Director, OnSide Youth Zones, added: “OnSide is committed to providing young people with safe, affordable and inspiring places to go in their leisure time and we’re confident these draft proposals will provide an unparalleled opportunity to offer a state-of-the-art Youth Zone for young people across west London. Not only will the Youth Zone support those harder-to-reach young people, in particular those from deprived backgrounds, but it will also provide a supportive and exciting place that all young people from the borough can access to help them live happier, healthier and more aspirational lives.”
Following the consultation, all feedback will be considered before the plans are finalised and a planning application is submitted to the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham early next year. If approved, construction work could begin in mid 2017, with the new facilities ready within three years.
From 11 November, the draft plans will be available at www.edcity.co.uk, where feedback can also be submitted.