New Acton School Moves a Step Closer To Fully Opening

Topping out ceremony takes place at the Ark Soane Academy site

The topping out ceremony

A new secondary school in Acton is on track to fully open later this year after the construction project passed a key milestone.

The topping out ceremony for the residential portion of the 12-storeys high mixed-use development took place recently. This marked the completion of the concrete frame ahead of an expected overall completion in March 2023.

As well as the 1,200-pupil secondary school, Ark Soane Academy, the scheme includes 116 housing units developed by Countryside along with Build to Rent provider Simple Life London and Network Homes. It is located on the site of the former Acton College which was part of Ealing Hammersmith & West London College on Mill Hill Road, W3 8JH.

Designed by Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects, Ark Soane Academy will occupy the first three floors of the six to 12-storey building, as well as the surrounding grounds, which include a multi-use games area, sports hall and playgrounds. The rest of the building will be home to 113 apartments. There will also be three separate townhouses.

The first phase of the school building opened last year and it started accepting pupils in September 2021. It is now expected that the second building in the school will be complete in time for the current year's cohort.

The school is a e secondary academy which will ultimately have 1,200 pupils close to two Ark primary schools – Ark Priory Primary Academy and Ark Byron Primary Academy.

The first phase of the Ark Soane Academy
The first phase of the Ark Soane Academy. Picture: YouTube

92 of the apartments will be let and managed on a fully furnished basis by the build to rent brand, Simple Life London. Local residents will be able to apply for the Simple Life London rental apartments early next year.

Of the remaining homes in the new development, 21 will be classed as affordable, managed by Network Homes, and the three townhouses will be for open market sale by Countryside.

A sustainable energy centre utilising a Ground Source Heat Pump is also being delivered as part of the development.

A visualisation of the project when it is completed
A visualisation of the project when it is completed. Picture: Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects

The topping out ceremony was attended by key figures and stakeholders of the development including Simple Life London representatives, Stuart Churchward and Steven Brewster, as well as Jamie Wilding and Andrew Watson from Countryside.

Stuart Churchward, Development Director, for Sigma on behalf of Simple Life London, said, “We’re delighted to have reached this major milestone at Ark Soane. We’re very excited about this scheme, marking the third Simple Life London location and our first development to the West of the city. Countryside and Sigma have been working together since 2006 and have delivered over 5,500 BTR homes across the UK. It’s great to see our partnership continue to go from strength to strength.”

David Gooch, Network Homes Executive Director of Development, said: “It’s great to see this fantastic development at Ark Soane reach an important milestone. We are pleased to be working with Countryside to provide twenty one Affordable Homes for nominees of Ealing Council.’


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July 12, 2022