Academy trust shares vision for Penn Hall Mansion development

A Grade II listed mansion in Wolverhampton will be revamped for students with special educational needs and disabilities from across the region.

Left, Head Sarah Wilkinson, student Harry Bowen and Austine Gavin from Amethyst Academies Trust
Left, Head Sarah Wilkinson, student Harry Bowen and Austine Gavin from Amethyst Academies Trust

Penn Hall mansion, which sits in the site of Penn Hall School, is set to be developed under plans by The Amethyst Academies Trust.

The trust will work in partnership with Penn Hall School and Tettenhall Wood School to re-purpose the building as a much-needed vocational learning and development provision for 14 to 19-year-old students.

The projected cost of the work on the mansion, which is situated on Vicarage Road, is £400,000 across a five-year development.

A number of fundraising events will be held to raise cash for the project, trust bosses revealed.

Proposals seek to improve the internal layout of the mansion through the redesign and development of the existing rooms in the mansion whilst retaining the architecture and history of the building.

The building will house the new Sedgwick College, which hopes to enable students to thrive across all areas of the curriculum, empowering them to live independent futures of paid employment and life opportunities.

It will give students access to practical and vocational experiences across a wide range of specialist career pathways, providing innovative skills-based training and well-preparing students for the workplace, in hopes of creating lasting change in the employability of people with SEND

Left, Head Sarah Wilkinson, student Harry Bowen and Austine Gavin from Amethyst Academies Trust

Amethyst Academies Trust will be holding a number of family fundraising events throughout the summer for the local community, parents, students and businesses to attend and enjoy.

All events will be held at the mansion, where guided tours will be widely available.

Austine Gavin, senior assistant executive director of commercial development and marketing at Amethyst Academies Trust, said: "We are now on a journey to refurbish and repurpose Penn Hall Mansion into a specialist vocational college.

"We are doing fundraising events across June and July, to raise money for the project.

"We are looking to spread awareness of it, and are mindful to work with the community."

The trust hopes to develop work experience settings at the site that will be open to the public such as a charity shop boutique, tea room and cafe.

Other plans include a vegetable allotment, garden centre, florist, animal husbandry and a technology studio and media suite.

It is hoped these plans will develop students practical knowledge and skills rapidly, as well as building their confidence in communication and interactions with members of the community.

Among the planned fundraising events is Penn Hall Mansion Family Festival Day, which will take place on July 9.

It will see food and drink, live performances, a bouncy castle and a variety of stalls amongst games and tours.

Entry will be £2 or free for under fours, with gates open from 1pm.

Then the Sedgwick Summer Festival will see multiple fundraising events take place between June 27 and July 9.

To view upcoming events and book your place, people can visit sedgwick.aatrust.co.uk.

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