The replacement school buildings for James Calvert Spence Schools, relocation of Amble Primary School and provision of a SEND School


Northumberland County Council is proposing to replace James Calvert Spence College (JCSC) school, alongside investment into refurbishing the South Avenue site of JCSC to create new facilities for Amble Primary School and the creation of a new special education need and disabilities (SEND) school in Amble.

James Calvert Spence College is currently an age 9-18 school. It was formed from the amalgamation of JCSC South Avenue (formerly named Amble Middle School) and JCSC Acklington Road and operates across a split site. Northumberland County Council approved proposals in November 2022 to reorganise the schools from a three-tier system to a two-tier (primary/secondary) system, which will take place from September 2024.

The need to improve the buildings of JCSC had already been identified through an ongoing maintenance programme and the proposals will also allow for the efficient transfer to the two-tier system.

Members of the local community, school staff, parents and carers are invited to view the design proposals and provide feedback prior to submission of the planning application. 

The Site

The site comprises of land located south of Acklington Road and South Avenue in Amble. It extends to approximately 16.79 hectares (41.48 acres) and currently comprises James Calvert Spence College (JCSC), which is made up of the middle and secondary schools, sports hall and playing fields, and grass land with trees and hedgerows along its boundaries.

The site is bound by Acklington Road and South Avenue to the north with a residential estate on the other side. The A1068 runs along the eastern boundary of the site, whilst residential dwellings are located adjacent to the southeast corner of the site. Open agricultural/grazing land bounds the site to the south and west.

The Proposal

Northumberland County Council has committed to investment in the replacement and refurbishment of the JCSC buildings which will also facilitate the move to a two-tier system. The proposals comprise the following elements:

– Provide a combined replacement building for James Calvert Spence Middle School and High School buildings;

– Relocate Amble Primary School within the refurbished James Calvert Spence Middle School building; and

– Provide a new SEND School building within the refurbished James Calvert Spence Middle School building.

It is proposed that the new school buildings will use innovative technologies to create a net zero carbon in operation school. As well as improving the teaching and learning environment for current and future pupils in the schools, improvements to the on-site sporting and community facilities will benefit the wider Amble community. The enhanced facilities include:

  • A Floodlit 3G full size football pitch
  • A Multi Use Games Areas (MUGA)
  • A series of football and rugby pitches
  • An all-weather running track

The overall masterplan being developed by Ryder Architecture and One-Environments seeks to create a holistic campus environment set in a student-friendly green environment. The design team have been working closely with the schools to develop an appropriate design for the site.

The proposed site plan and further details on the proposals can be found HERE.

A planning application for the proposals is due to be submitted at the end February 2023.

Providing your Feedback

We welcome your thoughts on the proposals ahead of submission of the planning application. There will also be further opportunity to comment once the planning application has been submitted.

A consultation event is being held on Wednesday 25th January from 5.30pm until 7.30pm at James Calvert Spence College, Acklington Road, Amble, Northumberland, NE65 0NG and the design and project team will be available to answer any questions and there is an opportunity to leave your comments.

If you are unable to attend the event, please use the feedback form below to submit any comments. Alternatively, comments can be emailed to or posted to:

DPP, Studio 012, Haylofts, St Thomas Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LE.

Please submit your comments by Wednesday 1st February 2023.

Feedback Form

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