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Free Schools: Hampstead and Kilburn

Department for Education written question – answered on 2nd October 2019.

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Photo of Tulip Siddiq Tulip Siddiq Labour, Hampstead and Kilburn

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much his Department has spent on the proposed Abacus Free School project in Hampstead and Kilburn constituency.

Photo of Tulip Siddiq Tulip Siddiq Labour, Hampstead and Kilburn

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the (a) potential merits, (b) affordability (c) feasibility of the redevelopment of Hampstead Police Station for Abacus Primary School.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Department paid £14.1 million for the purchase of the former Hampstead Police Station for Abacus Belsize Primary School. It is proposed that not all of the site is allocated for the school, as sections of the site may be sold or leased for other purposes, subject to planning.

The Abacus Primary School opened in temporary accommodation in September 2013 and there have been costs associated with the refurbishment of this temporary building. The Department publishes capital costs for all free schools on GOV.UK once all works are completed and costs are finalised. This will be the case with Abacus Belsize Primary School. Given that these can be large and complex projects, this can take some time between first opening and publication.

There is considerable merit in this scheme as the building is in a suitable place and the school is popular and rated outstanding by Ofsted. The acquisition and development of the former Hampstead Police Station for use by Abacus Belsize Primary School has been the subject of a comprehensive site search and an extensive feasibility study, which has resulted in a detailed planning application that was submitted to the London Borough of Camden Council in May 2019. This is available to view at: www.camden.gov.uk/search-for-planning-applications. (reference number 2019/2375/p).

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