Members of the local community, B&NES Council and representatives from local Christian parishes and organisations, joined students, staff and governors of St Gregory’s Catholic College and St Mark’s Church of England School on Friday 23 November at The Forum for the formal launch of its fundraising campaign for Phase 2 of The New Sixth development.

The event at The Forum follows the ceremonial ‘cutting of the turf’ that took part last week on the gateway site in Odd Down, as construction work began on their new sixth form centre, The New Sixth.

Phase 1 of The New Sixth, which is entirely supported by £2.4m statutory funding from Bath and North East Somerset Council and £400k Government LCVAP funding, will open in September 2013, providing a learning environment of the highest quality, providing students with modern, dedicated teaching areas including laboratories, a learning resource centre, six classrooms, recreation area and study space.

Executive Headteacher, Raymond Friel said:

“We are delighted to welcome the Chairman of the Council, Cllr Rob Appleyard, and The Right Worshipful Mayor and Mayoress  of Bath, Cllr Andrew Furse and Mrs Mei-Ling Chou Furse, along with so many of our existing supporters and senior B&NES Councillors to this wonderful venue in the City of Bath to help us launch our fundraising campaign for Phase 2 of The New Sixth. This is an exciting time for the Cityand will provide the most significant educational development in the area for many years.”

“Phase 2 of The New Sixth, which we have called The Gateway, is planned to open in 2014/15 and will be situated adjacent to Phase 1, on a landmark site at the southern entrance to the World Heritage City of Bath.”

“This additional space will comprise a multi-functional, 250-seat auditorium and The Well, a pastoral centre for both students and the wider community. The Well will be a facility for fun, friendship and fellowship within a Christian ethos and supported by a wide range of churches and youth projects in our area.”

The Gateway will cost £1.5 million and will be funded through the Gateway Campaign, a dedicated fundraising project, supported by the governing bodies of St Gregory’s and St Mark’s. A substantial amount has already been pledged by governors and staffs of both schools and the Campaign Team are looking to build on this success over the coming months.

Campaign Director, Ken Pearson, said:

“While the Gateway Fundraising Campaign for Phase 2 of the New Sixth will benefit the wider community it started with the staff and governors of St Gregory’s and St Mark’s. Generous pledges from both have already been received.”

“Pledges from parents have started coming in following the first function for them and further functions are planned for 2013. The pledge concept allows for a relatively small amount, £3.08 a week, to grow into a very generous gift of £1,000 over five years with the addition of Gift Aid.”

Raymond Friel added:

“Having raised a significant amount of money already from the community of parents and governors, we are now looking for more substantial support from the local, national and indeed, international Christian community for this unique development. We are open to discussions about possible naming opportunities. Whatever support you are able to provide, it will be in the knowledge that you have contributed to a unique and very public provision, at the entrance to the City of Bath, which is there to serve young people.”

“We welcome discussions about all forms of partnership both financial and otherwise and would be delighted to hear from any parish, school, group, or agency that may be interested in sharing our vision for The New Sixth.”

Cllr Appleyard praised the project on behalf of B&NES Council:

“We are delighted that the local authority has been instrumental in providing the funding for the first phase of The New Sixth.

“The coming together of St Marks and St Gregory’s to provide a Sixth Form education that celebrates faith is a significant development and much welcomed by the council.”

“What makes the project particularly appealing is that our youngsters can continue their Sixth Form studies within the area instead of heading out of B&NES.  The Council was very happy to support this project with capital funding.”

Hannah Quinn, Head Student at St Gregory’s was joined by Ben Partridge from St Mark’s to speak to the audience about their ambitions for The New Sixth.

Student, Ben Partridge, said:

“We have a really unique opportunity to create something that will be seen and used by generations to come and will benefit so many people. I’m really looking forward to being a part of it and hope that anyone interested in supporting Phase 2, in whatever way they can, will get in touch.”

School Model Fly Through Simulation Phase II

[jwplayer config=”680×385″ mediaid=”708″]

For further information, please contact The Gateway Campaign Office at The New Sixth Administrative Centre, Combe Hay Lane, Odd Down, Bath or telephone 01225 832873.