The transformation is set to be complete in time for the next school year.
By Owen Tyrie
Plans have been showcased to convert the historic Armley Grange into a school for children with special needs.
The event was hosted at the Burley Lodge Centre in an open house style where residents of Leeds were able to come in and view the plans.
The scheme by Horizon Care and Education includes changes to the current parking system, additional buildings for classrooms and protecting some of the trees in the area.
Members of Horizon attended the event to talk to the public and answer any questions.
Jemima Taylor, the Chief Operating Officer for Horizon spoke about Leeds’ lack of specialist schools.
“This area in particular lacks the right resources to educate children who aren’t as fortunate as others and can’t learn in the same ways. It’s not fair that those with difficulties can’t get the education they so desperately need.”
Jemima went on to talk about how the public has reacted to the plans.
“So far so good! We have been door to door in the area around the Grange itself and people seemed okay with the transformation. There were some concerns around where the bins are collected as apparently it can clog up traffic, so we have made some amendments to our plans to allow for a side lane to create extra space.”
Many of the concerns that were raised by the public were about traffic, as adding a school could create more morning commute problems to an already busy area.
Alan Scott, a local resident who came to the event, told Leeds Hacks about his thoughts on the matter.
“I think it’s good for every area to have its own specialist school. The building wasn’t being used for any reasons better than this so I’m on board with it.”
Horizon Care and Education have schools and homes across the country and specialise with children who have learning difficulties, such as ADHD and autism.
The building was put up for auction by the previous owners, Leeds City Council, who described it as “surplus to requirements.”
Jemima Taylor also said the new school can impact the area surrounding it in a positive way.
“A new school coming to an area means new jobs. Not just teaching staff but catering, cleaning and even things like tech being set up. We plan to use the plentiful resources here in Leeds to get this school up and running by the start of the next school year.”
Those who could not attend the event but want to share their opinions to Horizon can contact them at email@example.com.