The Laurus Trust has been appointed to run a brand-new primary school in the heart of Manchester that will be the first new primary school to open in the city centre in almost twenty years.
Building work on the 210-place Crown Street Primary School – as it will be known – is now well underway at its location at the end of Deansgate, with the first pupils expected through its doors in September 2024.
The school forms an important part of the wider regeneration taking place in the Great Jackson Street area, which is located at the southern end of the city centre.
The school will open with a 26-place Pre-School class and a 30-place Reception class and will expand in size as pupils move through the school until it has pupils in each year group from Pre-School to Year 6. There will also be an on-site Day Care setting for children younger than three.
The new neighbourhood – currently being developed by property developer Renaker, who are based in Manchester – will comprise over 6,300 high quality new homes as well as a city centre park with a children’s play park, a medical facility and a dental studio, as well as a variety of independent restaurants, bars, and a cookery school.
Daren Whitaker, MD Renaker, said: “We’re delighted to be building a new city centre primary school for the local community, working closely with the city council and Laurus Trust.
“As majority landowner within this part of the city, we’re leading the transformation of this new city centre district.
“The creation of sustainable neighbourhoods for the long-term which include high quality homes and amenities catering to the needs of residents and the local community, is really important to us, and we’re proud to be developing the much-needed infrastructure to enable people to call the city centre their home.”
The new school will be operated by the Laurus Trust, with their appointment as the city council’s preferred operator also agreed by the Department for Education (DFE).
The Laurus Trust already operates Didsbury High School in Manchester as well as others across Greater Manchester and is highly regarded for the education it provides. The Trust’s vision is for all young people, regardless of background or circumstance, to be inspired, to thrive in all environments, to recognise what it takes to succeed, to set aspirational goals, and to work hard to achieve them.
Linda Magrath OBE, CEO of the Laurus Trust, said: “We’re honoured and delighted to have been chosen by Manchester City Council to run Crown Street Primary School. It’s incredibly exciting to be entrusted with the opportunity to run the first new primary school to be built in the city centre in twenty years.
“We can’t wait to turn our vision into a reality for the children of Manchester by ensuring they benefit from an education that will open the door to the future of their choice and equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life.”
Plans for the new school were first agreed by the Council’s Executive in February 2020 with a decision to proceed with a free school presumption to develop a new primary school for the city centre.
Since then, the Council has been working in partnership with Renaker on the design and development of the school – which will be nestled between two neighbouring towers, The Blade and Elizabeth Tower, as part of the wider residential development of the area by Renaker.
Councillor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Early Years, Children, and Young People, Manchester City Council, said: “As more people move into the city centre and make it their home it’s really important we make sure they have the infrastructure they need to let them live their lives – whatever stage they’re at.
“Having a good local school on their doorstep is what every family wants and we’re determined to make sure this is something that is also available to our fast-growing city centre community.
“With the Laurus Trust on board Crown Street Primary looks set to be a brilliant school in the heart of our city that should serve generations of families and children in the city centre for years to come.”