Walden School sold to property developer

Waldlen School

Waldlen School - Credit: Archant

Walden School, formerly called Friends School in Saffron Walden which closed last year, has been sold to an independent property development company despite efforts to keep the site for educational use.

The land and buildings of the school have been sold to Chase (SW) Limited, part of the Chase New Homes group, based in Welwyn Garden City.

Alistair Wardell, joint administrator of Walden School, said: “Together with our marketing agents, Savills, every possible effort was made to attract a buyer that would continue to run the site as an education establishment. However, despite two comprehensive marketing campaigns over a nine-month period since the school went into administration, this has not been possible.”

Prior to the school entering administration, there had been other attempts to retain the 24 acre site for educational use but these were also unsuccessful.

It is anticipated that the process of agreeing claims will now commence, to enable payments to be made to the school’s body of creditors in due course.

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Mr Wardell added: “Over the last few weeks, a large quantity of equipment and other materials has been sold or donated to other schools in the area and we understand that Chase will continue to distribute many of the assets that remain.”

The CEO from Chase, Tony Carey, said: “We are very pleased to be involved in this project. Whilst we understand it was not viable for it to continue as a school for numerous reasons, we look forward to breathing new life into the site in collaboration with the local community.

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“We have considerable experience in successfully bringing these types of sites back into use and this will be fully utilised at Walden School. Planning for how the buildings and grounds will be used is in its early stages but we have already engaged with some local community groups and we hope to continue and expand this dialogue.”

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