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News Release


Former brownfield site in Leeds set to house one of the largest free schools in England

LEEDS, 25 March 2015 – A former brownfield site in south Leeds is set to be redeveloped into one of the largest free schools in England following a property deal by consultants JLL.

Acting on behalf of the Education Funding Agency (EFA), JLL has acquired the 4.2 acre site, formerly occupied by Yorkshire Chemicals, on Black Bull Street for an undisclosed sum from Yorkshire Design Group. 

Building works on the new £25 million facility are due to start shortly on The Ruth Gorse Academy, which will be able to accommodate up to 1,580 pupils (11-18 years) and is set to open in September 2016.

The development of The Ruth Gorse Academy is supported by the Leeds Sustainable Development Group which sees it as a major step towards developing family living in Leeds city centre. The site of the new Academy is strategically important as it forms part of the city's growing education quarter with the new Leeds City College and the Leeds College of Building facilities nearby. 

Henry Burton, Senior Consultant in JLL's Leeds Development team, said: "This acquisition is a sign of the EFA's continued commitment to improve the standards of education across England, providing funding to proposed schools backed by Trusts who have a proven track record in providing the highest quality education in areas of serious need."