Sports college holds grand opening

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Mayor Joe Anderson opens the college along with other dignitaries. Pic © JMU Journalism

Mayor Joe Anderson opens the college along with other dignitaries. Pic © JMU Journalism

A new £18m sports college has celebrated its official opening in Fazakerley, as the latest development in the Liverpool Schools Investment Programme.

Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College opened its doors for the first time to some well-known faces, including Mayor Joe Anderson, the Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon, and former government Education Secretary, Estelle Morris.

Paul Dickinson, the head teacher of the college, told JMU Journalism: “The opening was an opportunity for us as a college to thank so many people for helping us build a fabulous new facility. It required a lot of people working together as a team to get to where we are now.”

The college has been requesting for a new building since 2008, shortly after Mr Dickinson took over as head.

Mayor Joe Anderson praised the new building, saying: “The new Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College is a fantastic new facility which will provide thousands of young people with a fantastic education in great surroundings.”

The modern school’s facilities include a sports hall with sixth courts, state-of-the-art classrooms, dance and recording studios, and a 3G pitch.

The head teacher believes that children deserve first class facilities. Mr Dickinson added: “At Archbishop we put children’s education at the forefront. It’s about making sure that every child has the opportunity to learn in the best environment possible.”

Dave Hanratty, a city councillor for the Fazakerley ward, told JMU Journalism: “As local councillors we are excited about this new school. The facilities they have on offer for their students will hopefully enhance their life skills.

“The investment by the city council has been incredible with engaging local contractors and training for young people in the area gaining vital skills.”

The college that is home to around 1,200 pupils, was built by Willmott Dixon Construction, a company based in Fazakerley. The firm managed to create 27 apprenticeships to assist with the construction.

Around 70% of the budget for the project was spent with businesses around the city.

Mayor Anderson added: “I am really pleased that so many of the subcontracts were awarded to Liverpool firms, meaning that we have been able to recycle millions of pounds back into the city’s economy.”

About Samantha Gaulter-Green, JMU Journalism