School shed to become an arts centre

TV Cricket pundit launches bid for further funding

Pictured looking up at 'The Shed' are Brackenbury Primary pupils and (left to right) the mayor, Cllr Charlie Treloggan; TV cricket pundit Simon Hughes and headteacher Andrew McMahon.

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Pupils, parents and teachers at a Hammersmith primary school launched a fund-raising bid to transform a disused Victorian school shed into a new arts and sports facility for children and the local community.

The Brackenbury School campaign needs to raise £75,000 to enable "The Shed" to provide space for drama, dance and the visual arts - as well as for indoor games, and before and after-school clubs.

The fund-raising effort was being launched by a party being held in The Shed itself today (Thursday, 26 January, 6.30-8.30pm), hosted by Channel 4 TV cricket pundit Simon Hughes, a parent at the school, and attended by the mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, Cllr Charlie Treloggan.

Brackenbury's headteacher, Andrew McMahon, said: "Transforming The Shed will be a massive boost both to our school and to the local community. It will make a huge difference to what we can provide for our children."

Brackenbury was ranked as the third most improved school in the country in the 2003 value-added league tables. An Ofsted inspection in late 2005 found that the school provided its pupils with "an outstanding level of care, support and guidance" to its 350 pupils.

42% of Brackenbury's pupils speak English as an additional language, and 43% are eligible for free school meals.

The Shed is one of the 126-year-old school's original buildings but has remained disused for many years. Once opened the new facility will be available to be used by the local community for meetings and events.

The Brackenbury School Parent Staff Association (PSA) is contributing to the fund-raising campaign and has already received financial support for the project from John Lyon's Charity. White City shopping centre developers Multiplex are providing project management expertise, as well as support on design and procurement.

Chair of the Brackenbury Parent Staff Association, Andy Corrigan, said: "The survey's been done, and the plans have been approved. All we need now is the money. With that, we could start building tomorrow."

Cllr Charlie Treloggan, mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham, said: "We are very happy to be supporting this extremely worthwhile campaign to improve facilities at one of our best local primary schools. Brackenbury Primary School enjoys tremendous support from parents and local residents, who will all get behind the exciting fund-raising activities being planned."

January 29, 2006