Persimmon Homes

Wellington Gate developer demonstrates commitment to Grove

14 April 2024

The latest benefits of the Wellington Gate development in Grove were celebrated last month as the community marked the official opening of the new on-site primary school.

The builder of the school and high-quality homes in the area, Persimmon Wessex, were in attendance at St John’s CofE Primary School, alongside local dignitaries including the Bishop of Dorchester, the local Member of Parliament, and county, district, and parish councillors, receiving a tour of the school and hearing a song from the pupils.

The event concluded with the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire unveiling a sculpture by local artist Sharon Rich that will welcome pupils, teachers, and visitors to the school, funded by Persimmon’s Community Champions scheme, which sees over £700,000 gifted to good causes across Britain each year.

The school and nursery received its initial cohort of pupils in September and will take on a new year group annually until full. Pupils would then progress to the secondary school being built on land provided by Persimmon, due to open in September 2025.

The Wellington Gate site, situated on the old airfield between Wantage and Grove, will see 2,500 high-quality homes constructed for local people once complete. Currently available for purchase are three and four-bed properties from £334,995.

In addition to the schools, the five-star builder will also be delivering a community hub, sports facilities, play pitches, play areas, an ecological park, a community park, allotments, and orchards as part of the new sustainable community.

The Masterplan for Wellington Gate is based on a Green Infrastructure Strategy, developed to create a connected, multi-functional network of green spaces and corridors.

Recent local recipients of Persimmon Homes Wessex’s Community Champions fund include Sustainable Wantage, the Wantage Literary Festival, and Oxford Food Hub. The company also attended a recent Careers Fair for King Alfred’s Academy at The Beacon.

Commenting, Persimmon Regional Managing Director Julian Roper said “We’re delighted with the progress we’ve made at Wellington Gate and are thrilled to see the new primary school thriving in its first year, and only goes to show the benefit that can arise from building the homes local communities need.

“The parents of St John’s pupils will be from the local community, and many will be able to benefit from the affordable homes that we are building. Housebuilding in the area, in turn, will allow those children who grew up here to stay here as adults, building their own families.

“It was a pleasure to see so many local dignitaries and stakeholders attend the school opening and see the difference we have been able to make in the area, including with the high standards we held ourselves to when it came to building the school itself.

“This comes after several Persimmon Community Champions donations and work with local schools in the area, and we will continue to engage with local people for the benefit of Grove.”

Rick Holroyd – Executive Headteacher at St John’s CofE Primary School added “We were thrilled that Persimmon, as the builder behind our wonderful new school, could attend its opening alongside the many people and organisations that helped make this happen for our pupils, teachers, and staff.

“It was a proud moment for us and the Vale Academy Trust to show off what the school has accomplished in its initial months and look forward to the day when we have our full complement of pupils who, so far, love being here.

“It was a treat for us staff and visitors as well the pupils themselves as they were able to sing the song they had been learning for all our guests and to unveil the beautiful sculpture that will welcome us all to the school each day, which we thank Persimmon for funding.”

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