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Issue:- 02 June 2011

£18 million of school work completed

PUPILS and staff at Liverpool’s largest secondary school are celebrating the end of almost 3 years of rebuilding work.  Contractors have now finished work on the new £18 million Alsop Technology College in Walton following the completion of a new multi-use games area, playground, courtyard and landscaping.

Home to 1800 pupils, Alsop was the first Liverpool school to benefit from the national Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. 6 other schools which were also part of Wave 2 of the initiative have also been modernised.

The 84-year-old school has undergone a complete transformation, with the work being completed in 3 phases over the last 8 months.  Hundreds of pupils previously taught in dozens of mobile units are now being educated in modern classrooms and are using the latest technology.

Designed by the city council’s design joint venture partnership, 2020 Liverpool and built by Liverpool-based construction, infrastructure and design business Morgan Sindall, it features a dance studio and new areas for dining and socialising.

Head teacher Phil Jamieson – who started worked at the school since 1972 and has been in charge since 1997 - said:- “This is a momentous day for Alsop and we are absolutely delighted that work is complete on the project. This is the culmination of many years of work.  It’s vital that our young people have the very best facilities and are taught in a modern, attractive environment. Our new school is transforming education for them.  Staff and students have been fully involved in these ambitious plans right from the start and it’s wonderful to see our dream become a reality. It really is a new era for Alsop and the massive improvements will bring huge benefits to young people for generations to come.”

Specialist business studies classrooms and cutting-edge ICT equipment have further boosted the school curriculum.

Cabinet member for education, Councillor Jane Corbett, said:- “This fantastic new school will boost education for thousands of young people, giving them the skills they need to do achieve their potential.  The project reflects our vision for education in Liverpool and what we had wanted to achieve in the city’s remaining secondary schools through Wave 6 of Building Schools for the Future.   It is about creating top quality facilities which accommodate new ways of learning and make sure no child is left behind. I’m delighted for everyone at Alsop, and I’m looking forward to seeing the school go from strength to strength in the future.”

Barry Roberts, Morgan Sindall area director, said:- “We are thrilled to help launch this striking new learning environment for the local community.  We are passionate about creating inspiring spaces for both students and teaching staff and we are confident the new Alsop Technology College will offer young people the very best platform for their future careers or studies.”

Chris Lavery, 2020 Liverpool Managing Director said:- "High quality design such as this can inspire pupils, helping to boost their achievement.  We are proud to support the council in delivering projects such as this, which make a real difference to the lives of young people.”

Alsop High opened in 1926 and was extended in the 1950s and 1960s.  When Queen Mary school in Fazakerley closed in 2002 it took in more pupils and mobile classrooms had to be built in the playground to accommodate them.

The city council is working on alternative plans to improve schools which were in Wave 6 of BSF, following the cancellation of the £350 million scheme by the government last year.


DETECTIVES from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit are investigating the murder of a woman at a house in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

Officers from the force were called at around 5.20pm on Tuesday, 24 May 2011 to her home address in Glebeland following a call from a member of the woman’s family who was concerned for her welfare.

Officers attended the property and found the body of the woman, who is 34 years old. The Police Officers now want to trace her ex-partner 35 year old Martin Collett in connection with her murder.  She is believed to have died between 22 May 2011 and 24 May 2011.  The victim’s family live overseas and are being support by a specialist Family Liaison Officer. Martin has connections in a number of places across the country including Southampton, Bristol and Stratford-Upon-Avon.  Detective Chief Inspector Mark Ross from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit is leading the investigation and said:- "This is a tragic case involving people who are known to each other but no doubt members of the local community will be shocked by what has happened.  My team are making a number of inquiries across the country to trace Martin as a matter of urgency, but I would like to reassure members of the public that we do not believe he is a threat to anyone.  Martin may be anywhere in the country and I would ask anyone who thinks they have seen him since 22 May 2011, or anyone who knows where he is to contact our incident room directly on:- 01707 355959 or call Hertfordshire Constabulary on:- 0845 3300 222.  If you have had any previous contact with Martin, we would also like to hear from you.  If you don’t feel comfortable in contacting police directly, please call Crimestoppers anonymously:- 0800 555111.”

Space Invaders Inspect Air for NASA at New Pleasureland Southport

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Or so the story usually goes. This time, the adventure is taking place much closer to home, and it is happening right now.  New Pleasureland Southport has recently seen a thrilling invasion of Star Wars proportions, in the shape of groundbreaking new ride, Air. Towering 100 feet above the theme park, Air is a stunning guest addition to New Pleasureland as it continues its journey towards its permanent base at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, the home of NASA!  It is 1 of only 3 such rides in the world and cost approximately £2 million, travelling a galactic 1,200 miles across 5 countries to make it to Southport. With its flashing lights and fog machines, Air really could be mistaken for a mechanical visitor from another planet, which may explain the appearance of some rather unexpected guests.

Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Yoda along with arch nemesis Darth Maul and a Storm Trooper, all arrived to award Air a stellar seal of approval before it journeys on to NASA. The inspection team boarded Air for its maiden voyage and reportedly felt right at home on the futuristic vessel.  They did mention, however, that as each bar of seats loops at random, while the main arm turns at 360 degrees, both vertically and around in a circle, the ride is not as smooth as the Millennium Falcon or the Death Star.  Also in attendance at the launch to ensure that Air is safe for human consumption, was a team of sky diving daredevils from Preston, Lancashire. Used to free falling from up to 4,000 metres, the Air experience was rather different from what they are used to, and a lot scarier.   Keen skydiver Elizabeth, works in Southport but travels each weekend to skydive in Preston. She said:- "What a fantastic ride! It was terrifying to say the least. I would recommend a ride on Air to anyone, but personally I would definitely rather be jumping out of a plane."

Air will be open to the public throughout the half term break at... New Pleasureland Southport, Marine Drive, Southport. 

For information regarding opening times and all other enquiries, please call New Pleasureland Southport on:- 01704 532 717.


DETECTIVES from the Bedfordshire andAS further affirmation of its commitment to its environmental programme, Northern Rail has won the Sustainable Business of the Year award. The UK’s largest rail operator scooped the prestigious title at the Environment and Energy Awards, held at Birmingham’s National Motorcycle Museum. Seen as one of the highest accolades in the corporate sector, these awards recognised Northern’s commitment to becoming the most sustainable rail operator in the UK. The judges commented:- "All entries for this award have shown leadership in sustainability. The winner for this award, Northern Rail, have stood out as having an all round package in a very challenging sector. They have gone over and above what the company needed to deliver."  Dr Karen Booth, Head of Sustainability for Northern Rail, comments:- "This award really means a lot to us, as it recognises our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our fuel efficiency. We work tirelessly with community groups to improve stations’ environments, partner with schools to promote the waste recycling message, appoint internal environmental champions to ensure we practice what we preach and consistently embed sustainability in all our business practices. We are completely committed to our sustainability programme and are constantly reviewing our practices to ensure we are doing all we can to protect the environment."

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