School’s plans for
new hall in meadow

BATTLE Abbey School is seeking to build a new sports hall in the heart of the town, it has been revealed.

Last week Battle Abbey’s surveyors were spotted working in George Meadow, by the town’s cricket pitch.

And on Tuesday Battle Abbey confirmed rumours that the school is looking to build an indoor sports facility in the area.

The land at George Meadow is owned by Battle Town Council.

Representatives from the school have already approached the council to discuss whether the land could be made available to them for development.

James Dennett, marketing manager at Battle Abbey School, said the plans are in the very early stages and no planning applications have yet been submitted.

Speaking to the Observer, Mr Dennett said: “The concept is in the very early stages and we are in initial discussion with Battle Town Council about how achievable the scheme is.

“Any build considered would need to have good environmental credentials and be entirely respectful of landscape and setting.

“The intention would be for the school to use the sports hall during term time and offer it extensively for community whenever possible.

“In effect, this means it would also be available for community use most days and evenings throughout the year.

“There is a strong link between the prosperity of the school and Battle.

“The school would be responsible for the management of the sports hall which would generate additional jobs in the local area, possibly as many as 10 extra full time and part time staff.

“We would not intend to manage the sports hall as a profit-making entity.

“We envisage that some local charitable organisations would be able to hire the facility at a heavily reduced cost.

“Other users would be expected to pay a hire charge to contribute towards the annual maintenance costs which would be met by the school.”

Battle Abbey School is currently without an indoor sports facility.

New headmaster David Clark, who arrived at the school last year, is leading the drive to improve Battle Abbey’s sporting prospects.

Mr Dennett added: “The school currently has no indoor sports facilities and only limited outside sports facilities.

“Sport plays a very big part in education and the government is very keen for all schools to offer a robust programme of physical education post the Olympics.”

Mr Dennett added that the school was considering several different sites but ideally wanted a site within walking distance of the school.