Independent French School to open in Wembley
- Credit: source
School secures site of Brent Town Hall
An independent French secondary school will open on the site of Brent’s historic art-deco town hall, it has been revealed.
Brent Council confirmed that the French Education Property Trust, which owns the Lycée Francais Charles de Gaulle, had bought the approximately 5.3 acre, grade-two listed site.
The building will be extensively refurbished and extended and a new planning application to clear the way for this is expected to be submitted by the end of this year.
A spokesman for Colliers International, the estate agent which managed the sale, said the new school that it would cater for approximately 1,000 students between the ages of 11 and 18 and was due to open in September 2015.
Brent Council is moving operations into a new civic centre near Wembley Stadium this summer.
French Ambassador to the UK Bernard Emié said the new building would ‘create a magnificent living space’ and ‘contribute to the modernisation of Brent’.
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“The project is very eagerly awaited by the French community,” he said.
Councillor George Crane, Brent’s Regeneration Chief, said the new school would ‘bring new energy and life’ to the building.
“We have worked to ensure the future of the building has been secured and that the history, listed status and setting of the building is respected.”
Martin Francis, a former teacher and a local Green Party activist, welcomed the news that the listed building would be preserved but expressed concerns about the number of secondary schools in the area.
“One issue could be the lack of play space. Also you are going have thousands of pupils within a five to ten minute walk. It may not be a problem but there could be interschool rivalry.
“I would have preferred to have seen the site be used as a hub for voluntary groups.”
Lycée, which schools just under 4,000 pupils across the capital, also opened Collège Français Bilingue de Londres, which caters for 700 pupils between the ages of 4 and 14, in Kentish Town in September 2011.
The school is based in South Kensington but also has sites in Clapham, Fulham and Ealing.