Major feat for ENGIE’s Rugeley masterplan as sustainable school gets funding

5th February 2021

ENGIE’s plans for a significant redevelopment of the former Rugeley Power Station in Staffordshire, have been given a major boost, as the John Taylor Multi Academy Trust (JTMAT), has been awarded funding through the Department for Education’s (DfE) free school programme for a brand-new all-through school.

The funding was granted through Wave 14 of the DfE programme after a JTMAT application demonstrated the significant benefits the investment would bring to Rugeley.  

ENGIE announced plans in late 2018 to transform the Coal-fired Power Station site, which it owned, into a sustainable, mixed-use development of 2,300 new low carbon homes; and up to 12.36 acres of employment space, which received outline planning approval earlier last year.

ENGIE later submitted an amendment to the application to potentially include a low carbon All Through School within the development and this was granted in July 2020 by the local planning authorities.

The school, which will welcome children from the Rugeley and Lichfield local districts, as well as the future residents on the Rugeley Power Station site, will be entirely sustainable in design and net zero carbon in operation.  Everything will be electric and renewable energy will play a key role in reducing carbon emissions. 

Mark Dolling, Director – Education & Public Sector Capital Programmes at ENGIE UK & Ireland, said: “ENGIE is delighted to be working with JTMAT and other stakeholders in leading the design and delivery of this new school. This is an extremely exciting project for all involved – we are not only providing a new, highly sustainable school that will sit at the heart of a new low carbon community; but we are paving the way for the education sector more broadly.  Schools can play an integral part in leading the transition to zero carbon and this new school, alongside the wider development, will offer a sustainable place for people to live, work and learn.  We passionately believe the scheme will act as an exemplar in placemaking.”

JTMAT CEO, Mike Donoghue said: “We are naturally excited and extremely proud to have been given the responsibility to lead the new school at Rugeley.  With a growing Trust that currently comprises many local good and outstanding primary and secondary schools, and a track record of successfully delivering a large Free School, we felt that we were well-placed to offer an exciting, high quality, and innovative offer to the children and families in the area.  Focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) from nursery through to Sixth Form, we will do all that we can to make this school outstanding and stand out. I’m delighted that, after a rigorous application and interview process, the selection panel agreed.  

“Now the work begins in earnest to fulfil our vision to create the best school we possibly can.  The application was very much a team effort, and so will be our work to deliver the school to the community. We look forward to working alongside our partner organisations to make all this happen.  We couldn’t be more thrilled.”

The educational facilities are due to open in September 2023 and will eventually accommodate 1,400 pupils, plus a nursery.