FULL planning permission has been granted for a new free school in the centre of Bournemouth.

Work will start in Autumn to redevelop the former police station and court buildings in Madeira and Strafford roads into the Livingstone Academy, which will hold 1,500 pupils.

The school is expected to open in September 2021 with 150 Year 7 students and 60 reception pupils.

The application will see the conversion of the magistrates’ court and Grade II-Listed coroner’s court buildings into a primary school and sixth form centre respectively.

Alongside this, the police station would be cleared to make way for a five-storey secondary school building and play areas. The school is expected to create 150 new jobs.

Ian Livingstone CBE, author and entrepreneur. Photographed in London.


The Livingstone Academy is the brainchild of Ian Livingstone, co-founder of Games Workshop which became one of the world’s biggest games companies, and will open under the Aspirations Academies Trust.

The curriculum of the academy will be rooted in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (Steam).

Mr Livingstone, told the Bournemouth Echo: “I am proud and delighted that the Livingstone Academy Bournemouth is opening in 2021 as part of Aspiration Academies’ new schools programme.

“For an authentic education, I believe it is vital that children learn good computing skills and also have a good arts education to improve their cognitive abilities, confidence, problem-solving and communication skills.

“Digital literacy will sit alongside literacy and numeracy as essential disciplines in the post-Covid networked world.”

Steve and Paula Kenning, CEOs of the Aspirations Academies Trust, added: “Bournemouth has a very exciting future with a thriving technology sector and a leading university.

“Livingstone Academy Bournemouth will be a school for all ages, aged four to 18, which will not only deliver high level academic qualifications but will also develop future skills in the children to enable them to succeed in a fast changing world.”

Aspirations Academies Trust currently runs 15 schools across the south of the country, including three in Bournemouth and four in Dorset.

Anyone interested in a place at the school should email carolinebarringer@aspirationsacademies.org.