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Former primary school makes way for M&S

Former primary school makes way for M&S

Thursday 16 May 2019

Former primary school makes way for M&S

A former primary school is to be transformed with an M&S featuring an in-store bakery as part of a multi-million makeover expected to be completed by autumn.

The supermarket will sit alongside Village Vets and Mercury Distribution in the new community facility, which will be known as 'La Vielle Êcole' - a name referencing the building's former life as an establishment for St. Martin's schoolchildren.

But the name won't be the only tribute to the school.

The main entrance gate to the new development, which was assisted by a £2.6million government loan, was designed by St. Martin’s School pupils working with local artist Chris Clifford and will represent a tribute to the Parish’s strong farming links.

La Vielle Ecole

Pictured: An image of the school circa 1900, shortly after it opened.

Meanwhile, the famous tiled wall completed by former St. Martin’s pupils in their old school to celebrate the millennium and greet visitors in their old building has been recreated in the new premises.

Throughout its redevelopment, the height of the former primary school has remained the same, but there has been work at the back of the property to create a "modern usable space", developers say.

The existing 80-space car-park has also been redesigned to provide an additional 40 spaces while work will be done on the main road to assist with traffic.

The team behind the project said they were delighted to have been able to work so closely with parishioners on the project, who voiced their opinions during consultation and were kept abreast of project updates during Parish Assemblies.


Pictured: There will be 120 parking spaces at La Vielle Êcole.

“[Parishioners'] vision at the start helped us on our journey, and their continued trust and patience with the appointed steering group has been first-rate. They are a real reason for the excellent progress made," Project Director, Simon Matthews of HLG Associates, said.

Matt Price, Managing Director of Larsen Limited, the main contractor, added: "It is rare you work on a scheme where so much thought and planning has gone in to preparing for our appointment and delivery, and we look forward to successfully completing our works by the Autumn.”

The new M&S will be open seven days a week, offering usual M&S stock, as well as an in-store bakery and ready-to-eat food.

Village Vets will be providing a full veterinary service at La Vielle Êcole, including consultations, emergency and planned surgery.

La Vielle Ecole

Pictured: The three tenants will move in this autumn and should start trading in November.

Doctors Adele Trott and Peter Rushton-Taylor, Directors, said the new facility will give them enough space to add "sophisticated new equipment” including a CT scanner to complement their existing in-house MRI.

Mercury Distribution will be moving their flagship medical retail store to a purpose-built showroom and will also be showcasing a range of products from their hospitality, engineering, medical, and office divisions from the premises.

St. Martin's Constable, Karen Shenton-Stone, said that the fact “blue-chip tenants” had taken on leases in the new facility was “a testament to the quality space being provided in the completed redevelopment.”

“The east of the island will soon be well-served with some excellent community facilities," she added.


Pictured: The Constable of St. Martin, Karen Shenton-Stone.

"The project has taken some time to plan and progress, but delivery of the completed development will give the parishioners a community facility that they will rightly feel very proud of, and one that will not require them to make a regular contribution to upkeep. 

"These two objectives have very much been at the forefront of the project team.”

The three businesses, which are said to have met St. Martin’s requirements for “high-quality community facilities”, will occupy more than 80% of the premises, leaving one unit available.

“The Parish understands there is much demand for healthcare and wellbeing services being provided from the east of the island,” Constable Shenton-Stone added.


Pictured: There is still one unit available at La Vielle Êcole.

“The last remaining unit of La Vielle Êcole is ideal for tenanting to either one organisation or it has the potential to be split into two self-contained units.

"This would suit a consortium of users such as a doctors, pharmacy and dentist, or perhaps an osteopath, physiotherapist, or similar health and wellness type practitioners.”

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