A SCHOOL’S old swimming pool is to be transformed into a new classroom.

Sir John Deane’s College in Northwich is to expand after seeing its planning application greenlit by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

It comes as the sixth-form college on Monarch Drive experiences a surge in applications, with this demand only expected to grow in the coming years.

To help cope, the former indoor swimming pool will be turned into a classroom and study space.

Principal Chris Atherton said: “This is a really exciting development for the college and The Sir John Brunner Foundation, securing £1.6 million of Department for Education funding, alongside the £700k contribution from the College and Foundation.

“The college is experiencing increasing demand for places, due to its exceptional reputation and an increase in student numbers in our partner Secondary Schools. The additional classroom and study space will further enhance our first-class learning environment to meet this demand.

“Sir John Deane’s has a long and proud tradition of academic excellence and this development will enable future generations to embrace the opportunities and experiences the college provides.”

Northwich Guardian: Sir John Deane's College in NorthwichSir John Deane's College in Northwich (Image: CWAC)

The swimming pool at Sir John Deane’s College was closed in 2020 with the introduction of COVID restrictions.

Decommissioning of the site began in June 2022 and was completed before the start of the current school year.

ALSO READ: 'Such a loss to the community' - Residents bemoan closure of popular swimming pool

In December the school submitted a change of use application to the council looking to turn the pool into a classroom.

Alongside this, the college ran a consultation with parents, councillors and high schools.

In total 133 responses were submitted, nearly two-thirds of which supported the plans.

Some of the main issues raised included how this would impact other sixth-form providers and traffic in the area.

Questions were also asked about if this would affect entry requirements, pupil experience, and changes to the curriculum changes.

Addressing these, a spokesperson for Sir John Deane’s said the expansion is only designed to accommodate the increased demand and that the “relatively small increase” in the number of students would have a “minimal impact” on local residents.

Additionally, there are no plans to change entry criteria, student experience or the curriculum.