Cowlin Construction wins contract to replace Withywood Community School in south Bristol

Developer Cowlin Construction has won the contract to build the new £23m Merchants’ Academy in south Bristol

The academy will replace Withywood Community School and is expected to open in September 2008. There will be places for 910 students aged 11-16 and up to 250 after the age of 16.

Cost has been met by the government and the Society of Merchant Venturers with academic sponsorship from the University of Bristol.

Chairman of the Academy Trust Denis Burn, said: "Getting the project to this stage has been hard work for the Merchant Venturers and its partners in Withywood, the city council and the University of Bristol."

Burn added: “Now we are within sight of delivering an academy that will give the young people of Withywood truly outstanding educational opportunities and will have a transforming effect on the area.”

There will be no gap between the closure of Withywood and the opening of the new academy. When Merchants opens the old school buildings will be removed and the area will be landscaped.