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Cash to help pupil influx

Developers behind the transformation of an historic Tyneside community have made plans to cope with an influx of families.

Bridgewater Primary School in Scotswood will benefit from three new teaching assistants after the New Tyne West Development Company (NTWDC) provided £37,000.

Headteacher Samantha Robson said: 'This is a very welcome investment in our school and in the futures of the children who will benefit from it.

'We have made great strides in recent years and this will help us to further enhance the experience and learning opportunities for local families'.

The funding is part of a £265m pot which the company - a joint venture between developers Barratt Homes, Keepmoat Homes and Newcastle City Council - plans to invest over the next 15 years to create 1,800 new homes, community and commercial facilities.

With more than 60% of the homes due to be constructed being family houses, it is anticipated that there will be a large influx of youngsters at local schools, and so NTWDC is honouring its pledge to support educational development in Scotswood.

Mike Roberts, chair of NTWDC and managing director of Barratt Homes said: 'We believe that families moving into the first phases will naturally use those schools within walking distance. The masterplan for the development links it with Bridgewater School via a linear park.

'Bridgewater is a large site with good facilities. We have invested this money to provide extra learning assistants to help with literacy support for five to eight year olds. We believe this will build on the excellent work the school has already achieved'.

Detailed planning permission for the first phase of the Scotswood redevelopment - 378 homes - has been granted and proposals for a neighbourhood energy centre which will help cut househould bills and significantly reduce the development's carbon footprint have also been lodged with planners.

The developer will be working with local primary schools throughout the first phase of construction to look at health and safety as part of curriculum projects.

The 66 hectare site is bordered by Armstrong Road to the north, Whitehouse Road to the south, Atkinson Road to the east and Roberts Street/Muswell Hill to the west.

Up to a quarter of the new homes will be for rent and shared ownership. The development will be in five zones, cross-cut by open space and pedestrian links to integrate the new neighbourhood into the communities on its edges.

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