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Expert developer and regeneration specialist St. Modwen has joined forces with Elford Demolition and Remediation Limited to give schoolchildren a glimpse into the world of redevelopment, with a tour of the former Goodyear factory site.

Bushbury Lane Academy, which is attended by 223 pupils aged 3 to 11, overlooks the 18 acre site. Elford Demolition and Remediation has been contracted by St. Modwen to carry out demolition work for the proposed housing redevelopment.

St. Modwen submitted a planning application in June 2017 to Wolverhampton City Council for up to 220 new houses. The developer is now waiting on a decision on the planning application.

The developer recently unveiled new sports and recreational facilities, plus a new cycle path, at its nearby Neighbourhood Park site. As part of the ongoing work at the site, the next phase of development will see the landmark  clock tower  refurbished and brought back to working order.

As part of the new development, and subject to planning permission, St. Modwen intends to improve the access and entrance to the school for the benefit of pupils, teachers and parents alike. This will involve the removal of the overbearing acoustic fence that sits close to the school entrance, to provide a more open and attractive setting with new landscaping, public realm and improved parking.

Pupils were invited to visit the site and learn about the regeneration project. They were also given a demonstration of the equipment used on-site, along with educational materials about the construction industry.

Emily Guest, Construction Manager at St. Modwen, said: “We recognise that this site is of huge interest to people in  the local area and certainly those pupils who attend the school. We’re keen to engage those who are directly impacted by the demolition work and will benefit from the proposed improvements to the school entrance. Showing the pupils  around the site not only keeps the school up to speed with progress, it is also a fantastic opportunity to educate the youngsters on the construction industry. It’s always brilliant to see the excitement on children’s faces when they get up close to the machinery.”

Jeremy Baker, Health and Safety Advisor at Elford Demolition and Remediation, said: “We’ve been talking to staff at Bushbury Lane Academy regularly and are mindful that the school is close to the site and can see that lots of action is taking place. Having pupils and teachers visit and learn more about our work has helped us develop the open relationship we’ve built with the Academy and has given the pupils a fun, interactive afternoon outside the classroom.”

Kate Benton, headteacher at Bushbury Lane Academy, said: “The children and staff were so excited to be given the opportunity to explore the former Goodyear site. The children are often asking what is going on and the sound of ‘ooh and ahh’ when they see the new machinery is a joy to hear on the playground. I’m sure many will leave school today dreaming of driving a digger.”