A new college for the Lower School site?

Esperanza, the Young Enterprise team from Rye College
Esperanza, the Young Enterprise team from Rye College

Rye Academy Trust is to register an interest in acquiring the Lower School site to replace the old Rye College Building.

For years the site had been the battleground for major supermarkets Tesco and Sainsburys who were vying to open a new store.

But in the autumn the deadlock was broken with both supermarket chains shelving their plans.

It is understood that the rights for the Queen Adelaide pub are being sold by Tesco which would open the way for a new access road to a college site from Ferry Road.

Ann Cockerham, Executive Principal of the Rye Academy Trust, said: “ The Lower School site would enable us to build a school fit for purpose, giving Rye College students the facilities they deserve to support their learning.

“The costs of repairs and maintenance to the current building are becoming burdensome.

“An investment in new building would complement the facilities offered by our sister schools Rye Community Primary School and the Rye Studio School and enable us to develop a leading edge learning campus in the heart of Rye.”

Anthony Kimber PhD, Vice Chair of the Rye Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group says:

“Given the constraints on potential expansion of education buildings in the “Rye Education Quarter”, if this proposal is successful then it would provide a much enhanced education complex, with the potential for part funding by disposal of any land/buildings replaced by new build.

“The emerging Rye Neighbourhood Plan would certainly support that. However, although it provides some clarity about potential future use of this key site, the Neighbourhood Planners will need to consider the potential impacts, including flood risk.”

He added; “Now that the two big operators Sainsburys and Tesco have withdrawn, does Rye need a second supermarket? If so, will an operator be interested? And now where?”