COURT Fields School in Wellington will soon benefit from an expanded kitchen and dining area under a £2.6m investment from Somerset Council.

The council’s capital programme, which was approved at its budget setting meeting in February, included upgrades to Court Fields, and two others in Somerset, which are needed to account for growing pupil numbers

The council published details on its website in early-May confirming it was going out to tender on all three upgrades, on all three sites. In recent years, the secondary school on Mantle Street found that increasing student numbers have led to overcrowding in the dining areas at meal times, so the decision has been welcomed by staff and pupils.

This decision underscores the council's commitment to prioritising the well-being and educational experience of young learners.

Headteacher Polly Matthews said: “This is wonderful news for the school and we’re thrilled that Somerset Council is investing in improving our facilities.

“Our current school hall has, for some time, had to be used as a multi-purpose space and is no longer big enough for our increased student numbers. The expansion of dining and kitchen facilities will not only provide much needed extra space as we continue to grow, but also allow us to offer a greater range of food options at mealtimes.

“But this is not just about mealtimes - in the long term, this expansion will enable us to convert the current hall into a dedicated performing arts space.”

Court Fields School on Mantle Street in Wellington (Daniel Mumby)
Court Fields School on Mantle Street in Wellington (Daniel Mumby) (Court Fields School on Mantle Street in Wellington (Daniel Mumby))

The expansion will be project managed by Futures for Somerset LTD, which will oversee a tender process to select a qualified contractor.

Mrs Matthews said: “Alongside the development of our new state of the art multi-use 3G all-weather pitch, which started this month, this marks an exciting new chapter in the development of our thriving school. 

“I know the entire community will look forward to the positive impact that the expanded dining and kitchen facilities will have on the overall student experience, both for our current and future students. I would like to thank Somerset Council for their support for this project.”

The dates for implementing the improvements will be confirmed once the tendering process has been completed, with council officers working to keep pupil disruption to an absolute minimum.

According to the council’s capital programme, £1m will be spent at Monkton Wood Academy in Monkton Heathfield, alongside £900,000 for Pyrland School in Taunton and £700,000 for Court Fields School – a total of £2.6m across the three sites.

These upgrades are fully funded through a mixture of central government grants from the Department for Education (DfE) and contributions from housing developments across the two settlements.

In Wellington, up to 200 new homes will soon be delivered off Nynehead Road to unlock land for the town’s new railway station – with the prospect of 315 further homes in the neighbouring village of Rockwell Green.

The council will announce the appointment of its chosen contractor for these upgrades later in the summer.