Duke cuts ribbon as academy officially opens

The Duke of Buccleuch meets students
The Duke of Buccleuch meets students
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Kettering Buccleuch Academy was officially opened yesterday by the Duke of Buccleuch.

Students and staff at the academy, in Weekley Glebe Road, were joined by MP Philip Hollobone, county council leader Cllr Jim Harker, the leader of Kettering council Cllr Russell Roberts and the borough’s mayor Cllr Keli Watts.

Principal James Bowkett said: “Today marks a very special occasion, the official opening of a building designed to serve our community of Kettering and beyond. The ceremony also represents a significant moment in the life of our academy, cementing the convergence of three predecessor schools into our one all-through academy.

“As we celebrate the opening of our magnificent building, I would like to thank all those who have helped make it a reality. The building really is fantastic and is a superb backdrop for the learning that takes place within. We are extremely grateful to Northamptonshire County Council and Kettering Borough Council for their continued support and thank our neighbours for their patience and understanding during the construction period.

“We are very pleased to welcome his Grace the Duke of Buccleuch to the academy today. We are immensely proud of our association with the Duke and were delighted recently to be granted permission by the Duke to show our pride by displaying the Buccleuch family coat of arms above our main theatre entrance. We look forward to continuing to develop our relationship with the Duke and his estate.”

The Duke of Buccleuch, who unveiled a plaque, added: “I am delighted at the wonderful opportunities opening now with this new building. It is a platform for future success that will serve the young people in Kettering for years to come.”

Guests also had an opportunity to explore the academy’s new building, which includes a theatre, a sports pavilion, an all-weather pitch, state-of-the-art science laboratories, media suites, music rooms and art studios and a hearing-impaired unit.

Year nine student Ellie Allday said: “It’s so much easier to find your way around because of the way the building is laid out. Everywhere is light and airy and open. I walk in every day and say ‘Wow’.”

Prospective parents will also have the opportunity to tour the new building at the academy’s open evening on Thursday, October 3 at 6.30pm.