AMBITIOUS plans to transform an eyesore site near Bridgwater into a vocational school have been unveiled.
The five-acre former garden centre and industrial site at Cossington will be turned into a school with facilities to teach young people vocational skills such as decorating, plumbing, metal and wood working, mechanics, horticulture and IT.
Students will be heavily involved with the local community and produce goods which will be sold in local markets.
Andy Cobley, projects director with Priory Education Services who submitted the planning application, said: “Cossington Vocational Learning Centre will meet the demand for student re-engagement in learning through an alternative curriculum and qualification route.
“It will also completely transform an almost derelict site and bring it back to life.”
Priory Group submitted the plans to Sedgemoor District Council for the school, which will initially be for up to 45 young people aged between 13 and 16 years old.
Mr Cobley said: “The ethos of the Centre is driven by the Government agenda to increase vocational learning opportunities particularly with the raising of the school leaving age to 18.
“It will also reach out to the increasing numbers of young people who are not in education, employment or training.”
Andy Quine, from Mistral Architects & Surveyors who are working with Priory Group, said: “It’s a school for people who struggle in mainstream school and academia. It’s providing an alternative such as life skills and practical skills.”
Eight classrooms will be built for the new school and the buildings at the former Wyvern garden centre will be converted into staff offices to support the school.
A small primary school consisting of three classrooms for up to 12 children will be built as part of the project.
Cllr Alison Hamlin, councillor for Cossington, said: “It’s great news. I always champion any kind of education because it’s always needed, especially for children who might find traditional schools difficult.”