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New Health Academy Bolt Tightening Ceremony

Pupils from Wythenshawe primary schools took centre stage on 24th July at the new Manchester Health Academy this week when they take part in a bolt tightening ceremony. Work started on the site of the new £19 million Academy several months ago, and this week a significant construction milestone was marked when pupils joined Academy sponsors (Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester City Council and The Manchester College) to take part in a traditional bolt tightening. The Academy, which will be based in Brooklands, is one of seven across the city and will provide 600 places for 11-16 year olds and post 16 provision for 120 students available from September 2010. It will initially open in Brookway High School and Sports College this September for its first year, before moving to a brand new building on the same site in September 2010. The existing sports hall and community sports facilities will be retained. Part of the complex will be home to a stunning new community library which will open during the day, evenings and on Saturdays offering a homework club, serving not only the academy students, but also local primary school pupils. It will also host regular reading groups, author visits and other free events for the community and will have an access point to wider council services such as benefits, health and employment advice. Work at the 5,990 sq metre site has already had a positive impact on the surrounding community with surplus topsoil being supplied to Wythenshawe Town Community Football Club and Brooklands Estate Allotments. And more than 96% of the waste currently generated at the site has been recovered and recycled. Principal Designate, Barry Burke, said: “We are all absolutely thrilled at the progress of the new Academy building. It is going to be a fabulous resource for students, staff and the community and will offer state of the art facilities where everyone will be provided with the opportunities to succeed.” The Academy will be a totally new way of educating young people to meet the learning needs of the city’s businesses. It will forge links with education and business providing opportunities for both pupils and the residents of Wythenshawe and beyond. This ethos has already been put into practice when two pupils from Brookway High School and Sports College spent a week on work experience with both Manchester City Council and contractors Laing O’Rourke at the various academy sites across the city. Peter Mount, Chairman of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are proud and excited to be the first NHS organisation to be a lead sponsor of a Health Academy. As well as providing benefits to the local people of Wythenshawe, it will also have an impact on Manchester as a whole. The Academy has a focus on health, sport and well being, something which we as an organisation are keen to promote and support.” The Academy is supported by the Manchester United Foundation, which will work with students to develop and promote healthy living through sport and the association with Manchester United, its players and philosophy. The site will have extended opening hours and will become a community hub giving parents, families and the whole community the opportunity to benefit from the facilities. Pictured: Peter Mount, Trust Chairman, David Cain, Director of Regeneration and Barry Burke, Principal Designate.