Ground works start for new schools

BUILDERS have started ground works on the site of Lyde Green’s two new schools.

South Gloucestershire Council says the schools are on track to open in September 2026, four years after originally intended, with building work expected to take around two years.

The site in Honeysuckle Road, which will house the new 900-place Lyde Green Secondary School and a 420-place primary school next door, had been fenced off by April, with heavy machinery on site and work underway.

South Gloucestershire Council published an update on the project, which said: “There will now be considerable construction activity on-site and lorry movements in and out of the site in the upcoming months.

“The construction company BAM Construction Ltd, will be managing these works and will be communicating with residents near to the site to update them on construction activities.

“Building the two schools is expected to take around two years. We anticipate them being handed over to Olympus and CSET Trusts for fit-out, and to be made ready for the start of the new school year in September 2026.”

The council says work is under way despite the final funding agreement for the secondary school not having been signed by the Department for Education, “because of the tight timelines to deliver the schools in time for the start of the 2026/27 academic year”.

The schools’ sports facilities, which will also be available for community use and including pitches and a pavilion, are almost finished already. The council says it expects them to be “useable later this year”.

The secondary school will be run by the Olympus Academy Trust, which also runs Winterbourne Academy, while the primary school will be run by the Castle School Education Trust as a sister school to the existing Lyde Green Primary School in Willowherb Road.

Last month the Voice reported that secondary schools serving the Emersons Green area were among the most oversubscribed in the district, with Downend School receiving 325 first-choice applications for its 210 advertised places and 192 children offered places at schools they didn’t apply for, including 71 at King’s Oak Academy in Kingswood. In April the council reported that it had been able to offer 94.2% of families applying for a primary school place for September their first choice, with only 1% of families missing out on all three choices.

A council spokesperson said: “Overall, the availability of places in the primaries across South Gloucestershire is good, we can meet the demand from the local community, in the local community, and meet a high level of parental preferences, which has increased compared to last year.”