Reigate Priory School is to move out of the historic building it occupies in Priory Park, and into a new facility in the grounds of the former Canon headquarters off Cockshot Hill.
The target date for the move is September 2023, to allow time for design, planning approval and construction of the new 600-pupil building.
The Canon site has been purchased by Surrey County council. The new school will occupy only part of the approximately 20 acres, with Surrey’s headquarters also to be based there from January.
A statement from Surrey County Council on the school’s website says: “Reigate Priory School has been successful in being awarded funding from the Department for Education’s Priority Schools Building Programme to upgrade the facilities and buildings that house the school.
“However the county must also consider balancing the historic nature of the buildings with future proofing the school for generations to come. “
“You may be aware that Surrey County Council have now purchased the former Canon HQ site, and it is the intention to relocate the school to part of the grounds within this large site.”
A letter from headmaster Oliver Moses, also on the website, says that the school has been in discussion with the Department for Education and Surrey County Council for several years to find the best way to “future proof” the school, but that “reluctantly we have needed to accept the reality that we have outgrown this beautiful building”.
The letter adds: “Although we remain safely housed and looked after within its walls, we have reached the capacity of this building and are unable to develop it further for the future.”
“The opportunity to build a new school on a separate location first and foremost allows us to maintain the quality Reigate Priory provision for those children currently with us and who will join us over the next three years – it will remain business as usual.”
The headteacher’s letter also says: “Having visited the new site and seen provisional plans, I am very excited not only by the building being offered but also by the woodland setting, outdoor space, and all weather sporting facilities that will be available on our own secure site.”
Reigate Priory is a “junior” school, teaching Years 3 to 6 (children aged 7 – 11), with 150 pupils in each year.
Reigate & Banstead Borough Council leases Reigate Priory to Surrey County Council, as has been the case since the site became a school in 1948.
No announcement has yet been made by either council on the future use of the building.
Reigate Priory is Grade I listed (the highest grade). Much of the building was built in the 1700s, but some features date back to Tudor times.