A £38m scheme to rebuild Twickenham Academy and part-redevelop Hampton Academy has been given the green light.

Planning permission was granted by Richmond Council for the development of both schools, which took on academy statuses in September, last week.

Hampton Academy, formally Hampton Community College, will receive a £16m redevelopment, paid for by the Government, which will be used to pay for the demolition and rebuilding of a number of buildings on the site and upgrade facilities including cycle storage and landscaping.

At Twickenham Academy, formally Whitton School, £22m will be spent on demolishing the school, in Percy Road, and creating a new state-of-the-art building with sports facilities.

Both academies are run by the Learning Schools Trust and are sponsored by Swedish company Kunskapsskolan.

It is hoped work will begin on both sites this summer, with the completion of both projects due in 2013.

Councillor Paul Hodgins, Richmond Council’s cabinet member for schools, said: “I am very pleased that we can finally move forward with the plans to improve both of these academies.

“Some of the current school buildings are old and in need of replacement and repair to ensure that they are fit for purpose. I am very glad that the Government agreed to continue funding the development.”

John Baumber, chief executive for the Learning Schools Trust, said: “We are excited to be on the way with this redevelopment to create 21st century learning environments for the two academies.

“ The news has also been welcomed by the Liberal Democrats, who appointed Kunskapsskolan to be the preferred sponsors of the schools, before they lost power of the council at the elections last May.

Councillor Malcolm Eady, opposition spokesman for education, said: “The programme has already made a significant impact on the schools and this is being recognised by the local community.

“We are now beginning to see the details of the promised Government capital investment, and both proposals look exciting.”

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