BISHOP Rob Wickham has officially opened a new building in Whiteley that will host both a primary school and the town's church congregation.

The bishop, who is currently the commissary bishop while a new bishop is appointed, declared Cornerstone C of E Primary School and the rest of the £12 million building in Bluebell Way officially open.

Dignitaries and guests joined pupils for an act of collective worship.

The school has relocated from its previous home in Bader Way, Whiteley, and been enlarged to cater for thousands of families who will move into new homes in North Whiteley over the next few years.

The year-long building project has provided a school that can cater for up to 630 pupils aged between four and 11 years old.

Daily Echo:

The building will also become the new home for Whiteley Church and provide a reflective space for the wider community. The church has met for Sunday services, first in people’s homes and then in Whiteley community centre, since its creation in 1995, but has never had a space of its own.

The school is being enlarged to provide places for families moving into the 3,500 new homes planned to be built in North Whiteley over the next few years. The single-storey building includes 21 classrooms, four group rooms, large and small school halls, a studio, food technology rooms and the chapel. The outdoor facilities will include three sports courts and three sports pitches.

Contractors Midas Construction began work in May 2020, once Covid restrictions were relaxed to allow building work. The Rt Rev Christopher Foster, then Bishop of Portsmouth, led socially-distanced prayers over the foundations of the new school in August 2020.