A college in Winchester has secured funding from the Department for Education to build a £5.4m state-of-the-art music school.

Peter Symonds College has  secured the funding for the new 1,205m2 facility, which will include a recital room with capacity for 130 seats, rehearsal rooms, practice rooms and classrooms.

Announcing the news, principal Sara Russell, said: "I am thrilled to announce this exciting news on behalf of our College.

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"Our new Music School will offer the very best of facilities, and take our music courses to another level by providing students with the opportunity to learn, practise and perform in an environment that is unparalleled on the South Coast.

“The Music School bolsters our existing associations with Hampshire Specialist Music Course and Steinway Pianos.

"We are already a centre of excellence with an unrivalled reputation for helping students fulfil their musical ambitions, and providing a springboard to some of the country’s top conservatoires.”

Construction of the music school follows 18 months of complex discussions with sustainability, urban design and conservation consultants, among others.

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The building will incorporate a biodiverse roof and use renewable energy sourced from solar panels and internal heat recovery systems. It will feature several electric vehicle charging point protection bollards. Conservationists have endorsed plans to incorporate the installation of swift nest boxes and bat boxes to encourage and protect their declining populations.

Working groups, including City of Winchester Trust, were involved in the planning and local residents were also involved in discussions on how the College will maintain the open, green, character of the site, while moving to more renewable technologies and managing traffic flow.

Ms Russell added: "Renewing our buildings is essential and this investment in infrastructure means we will be able to provide high-quality, versatile learning and performance spaces. We are, however, conscious that there may be some short-term disruption during construction.

"We are committed to minimising this and have a proven track record of successfully and sensitively managing projects of this nature. We will continue to work closely with our neighbours and with Winchester City Council to operate at the highest of standards and expectations.”

The music school will be built on the site of Wyke Lodge which has poor energy efficiency and carbon footprint, and is being demolished.

Permission for its demolition and the music school build was granted in February. Completion is scheduled for winter or spring of 2024/25.