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Town Close Purchases City Site
Town Close School, one of the country’s leading independent preparatory schools, and its landlord, the Town Close Estate Charity, last week announced the purchase of the site it has occupied since its foundation in 1932, together with the Lodge at the Ipswich Road Entrance gate. The agreement, which comes as a result of the excellent long-standing relationship between the two parties, secures the School’s future at its current location in one of Norwich’s most sought-after areas.
This acquisition will facilitate continued investment in the School’s facilities, which have already been transformed in recent years. 1995 saw the addition of an indoor swimming pool, with the construction of a dedicated classroom block, the Dearnaley Building, following two years later. Recent improvements have included a sports hall built in 2009 and the Read Hall for music and drama added in 2010. In 2011 the School collaborated with the Hewitt Academy and The Dragons Hockey Club to create a shared astroturf facility. Hundreds of members of the public now benefit from the School’s facilities each week, use that is safeguarded for the long-term by this purchase.
David Bolton, Chairman of Town Close School Governors, praised the excellent teamwork between the Headmaster, Bursar and Senior Management Team and the small but innovative team of Governors who have brought this about. Headmaster, Nicholas Bevington, heralded the purchase saying, “I am delighted that the School will now have a permanent home in the heart of Norwich and look forward to generations of children and community users benefiting as a result.”
Nigel Back, Chairman of the Town Close Estate Charity, said, “The trustees of the Norwich Town Close Estate Charity have long been a supporter of Town Close School since its foundation in 1932. We are delighted that this development has taken place and trust that it will enable Town Close School to continue to provide outstanding education to its pupils.”
Town Close School is now looking forward to a bright future in the City, with a refurbishment of Pre Prep accommodation for its youngest pupils first on its agenda. In the longer term, plans are being developed to replace existing facilities for the teaching of science, music and art in a combined teaching and dining block adjacent to the main Georgian house, one of a number of listed buildings which contribute strongly to the south-western approach to the City.
“This latest step will maintain Town Close at the top of its class in Norwich. It will ensure the continuation and expansion of both the premises and the learning experience this historic school offers to each and every child who joins.” said Mr Bolton.