£19m Dyson building at Norfolk school given go-ahead
PUBLISHED: 16:37 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:37 09 January 2020
Education at a prestigious independent school will be revolutionised by an £18.75m donation from a well-known billionaire and former student.
North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has granted planning permission for a new centre for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) at Gresham's School in Holt.
The STEAM centre, which will be named the Dyson Building, has been made possible by the donation from Sir James Dyson.
The founder and chief executive of Dyson Ltd has previously said he has always been grateful to Gresham's, after the school continued to fund his education after the death of his father when he was nine.
Douglas Robb, Gresham's headmaster, said: "The Dyson Building represents an aspiration jointly held by Sir James and Gresham's School - that learning should be joined up and innovation encouraged.
"The granting of planning permission edges us closer to delivering a truly inspiring STEAM centre where technology, high-quality teaching and collaboration will be brought to the fore.
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"The building also provides opportunities to expand the outreach programmes Gresham's currently runs with local schools and community organisations.
"The positives and possibilities are endless, it's a very exciting time in the history of the school and the benefits of this enormously generous gift will be far reaching."
The building, which was approved by NNDC on November 28, has been designed by Dyson's architects Wilkinson Eyre, and construction will be completed by Kier with other contractors working in partnership.
The approval came from the council's planning officers and was not put before its planning committee.
A spokesperson from NNDC said: "The approval for the application was a delegated decision under our constitutional protocols, therefore it did not need to be referred."
At first, the plans were objected to by Norfolk County Council over flooding risks.
After a new proposal and drainage strategy was submitted, the council removed the objection subject to conditions being attached to any consent.
Construction will commence in Easter 2020 and the building will be completed by September 2021, in time for the start of the new academic year.