Kensington Academy and Leisure Centre is formally opened

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On Monday 19 January, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge officially opened the new Kensington Aldridge Academy and Kensington Leisure Centre.

Artelia was appointed to work on the Academy in September 2011 to provide a range of services including Cost Management, Employers Agent, Client Design Adviser and CDM Co-ordinator.

The project was a vital element of the social regeneration of the Lancaster Green estate. This new facility replaces an outdated, 1970s-built leisure centre, which failed to meet the needs of local people, with a new co-located Academy and leisure centre.

Construction work on the £28m Academy began in December 2012. The site was gifted by the Council which is the Academy’s co-sponsor and contributed £10.4m towards the construction costs.

Nearby stands Kensington Leisure Centre which is a result of a £29.4m cash injection from the Council.   These two projects represent a £57.4m investment in the area and are part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to regenerating the north of the borough.

The Kensington Academy and Leisure Centre will meet a number of key requirements in the area, including providing much-needed additional secondary school places. The new facility will form a vibrant community hub for the local community, providing modern, state-of-the-art facilities within energy efficient buildings, with an objective to achieve BREEAM Excellent in the future.

The new Academy opened in September 2014 and provides co-educational, secondary education for approximately 1,100 pupils.

The new Academy and leisure centre stands on the site of the former Kensington Leisure Centre where, during their time at Wetherby School, both Their Royal Highnesses The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry had swimming lessons.

Sir Rod Aldridge, founder of the Academy’s lead sponsor the Aldridge Foundation, said: “We had a rare opportunity to work with the Royal Borough to create a new, exceptional academy to join our and the Council’s respective families of schools. We planned for an academy that would deliver the highest standards of attainment, building on success already achieved in neighbouring primary schools. I am confident that it will make a real difference to our students and to the local community it serves.”

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