Council seeks sponsor to run new primary free school in growing Suffolk village

Lakenheath village sign. Picture: Phil Morley

Lakenheath village sign. Picture: Phil Morley - Credit: Archant

A council is on the hunt for a sponsor to run a new £5m primary free school in a Suffolk village.

Suffolk County Council is seeking proposals from sponsors to open a new 210-place school in Lakenheath in September 2019.

The village is expected to welcome more than 660 new homes over the coming years, with pupil numbers from those developments expected to be roughly 170.

Planning documents say: 'The existing primary school is full. Its site is constrained and it would be difficult to expand further. In order to make provision for this potential new housing and to provide space to expand if more housing is agreed, the county council has agreed to commission a new primary school in the area.'

While the new school, which planning documents suggest would be built off Station Road, would open with 210 places, it would be able to expand to 420, and would include a 30-place pre-school.

The council has said any sponsor would have to ensure the school played a 'key role within its immediate community and wider local economy', and would be expected to provide access for community groups.

In the planning documents the council said it would meet initial costs of the school, with funding from future housing developments - paid by developers to the community - expected to fund future growth.

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'The budget for the school is £5m (which includes the land acquisition cost) including the pre-school,' they said. 'This includes a significant uplift in costs to provide noise attenuation.

'The council will provide a start-up allowance of £191,000 to cover the employment of a headteacher and administrative support in advance of the school opening.'

According to the government, schools, colleges, universities, businesses, educational foundations and charities can become academy sponsors.

The deadline for the receipt of proposals is May 4 and those looking for more information should email

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