Holyrood Academy in Chard now benefits from 225 additional pupil places, following the completion of the Holyrood Academy expansion project.

Funded by Somerset Council and developer contributions, the £7.5 million school improvement project includes the new two-storey ‘Bennett Building’, housing a purpose-built kitchen and dining area, an additional six classrooms, new office spaces and meeting rooms, and a new school reception area.

A number of existing areas of the school, for example the music and science facilities, have also been refurbished to help meet the needs of the additional pupils.

The opening ceremony was held on Tuesday 19 September. The event was well-attended, with parents, local businesses, community leaders, school staff and Council staff joining to witness the opening of the building. Tessa Munt, Executive Lead Member for Children, Families & Education at Somerset Council was also in attendance, and was joined by MP Marcus Fysh. 

The ribbon cutting was performed by the eldest and youngest students at the school, Hannah in Year 13 and Mylo and Caitlyn in Year 7.

The improvements were designed by Grainge Architects on behalf of Somerset Council. The expansion was project managed by Futures for Somerset and constructed by BAM Ltd. Representatives from each organisation were welcomed to attend the opening ceremony.

Councillor Tessa Munt, Executive Lead Member for Children, Families & Education at Somerset Council said:

With the growing population of Chard, it is vital that we keep up with the increased demand for school places. Holyrood’s new building will greatly benefit the community and local children, as well as enhance the school experience for current pupils. This fantastic achievement is heightened by the fact that the new building is all-electric and fitted with energy efficient materials, helping Somerset Council stay committed to their Climate Emergency pledge.

Holyrood Academy Headteacher Dave MacCormick said:

We are delighted to officially open The Bennett Building at Holyrood Academy. It offers our students an amazing dining space, six new classrooms and several high-quality spaces for staff to work and meet with families.

The building stands to recognise the legacy of Mr Harry Bennett, Holyrood’s first Headteacher from 1910-1931. Mr Bennett led the school through its transition from Southend School to the new and expanded Holyrood School and provided steadfast leadership through the Great War and Spanish Flu Epidemic.

We are proud to celebrate his positive impact upon our town and the flourishing school we have today. We hope that this building will provide accommodation for community use as well as for our students.

For further information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk.

Pictured: Eldest student, Hannah, and youngest students, Mylo and Caitlyn, cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the new Bennett Building.

The eldest and youngest pupils of Holyrood Academy cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the new Bennett Building

About this article

September 21, 2023

Cara Cheshire

Children and Families

Press Release