New Multi-Million-Pound School Expansion Plan Announced

Gordonstoun has announced a £15 million investment plan for campus expansion, including a new Sixth Form Centre and a Business and Enterprise Centre, Coastguard Centre and Solar Farm, highlighting a commitment to sustainability and community service.

Gordonstoun has unveiled ambitious plans to invest around £15 million in the next phase of its Campus Masterplan which will include three major projects over the next three years.

  • The first project will be a new Coastguard Centre, due to open by the end of 2024. This will be home to one of Gordonstoun’s nine rescue and community services, through which every student is involved in active service to the local area.
  • The second project is a new Solar Farm to provide low carbon energy for the school and, it is hoped in due course, some of its neighbours. The Solar Farm will also deliver important power resilience. Work is now underway to secure the necessary land, with construction expected to commence later this year and the farm planned to be operational in 2025.
  • Thirdly, planning permission has been secured for the next building in the new Classroom Village, which is sited to the west of the iconic Round Square building. This large, multi-purpose space will house a Sixth Form Centre and a Business and Enterprise Centre and will provide many options for learning and social use for the school and wider community, and is expected to open in 2026.

Coming just two months after the formal opening of a new classroom hub, the Queen Elizabeth II Rooms, by the school’s Warden, HRH The Princess Royal, these plans signal the Board of Governors’ determination to strengthen the school further.

The developments are integral to the school’s sustainable strategy, reducing energy use and carbon footprint. The new buildings will incorporate many of the low carbon features of The Queen Elizabeth II Rooms.

Gordonstoun Principal Lisa Kerr said:

“As Gordonstoun celebrates its 90th year, it’s thrilling to be announcing these projects which both look back to our founding ethos of service to others and forward to a more sustainable future for the school.

“This multi-million-pound investment will ensure Gordonstoun offers students exceptional learning environments for academic studies as well as our uniquely broad curriculum.

“In addition to a new Sixth Form Centre, which will combine formal and social learning zones, a teaching kitchen, cafe, a new Higher Education Hub and large entertainment spaces, the new Business and Enterprise Centre will provide a home for our award-winning entrepreneurship programmes and academic lessons in Economics and Business Studies.

“Our new Solar Farm signals our commitment to safeguarding the energy resilience of our woodland campus and demonstrates our determination to play our part in moving to a low-carbon economy. This journey is already well underway following the opening of The Queen Elizabeth II Rooms’ which include sector-leading technology and are built to the highest environmental standards, setting the benchmark for developing the rest of the school estate over the next decade.”

Funded through a combination of investing school funds, fundraising and borrowing, the plans are a major boost to the Moray economy.

Richard Lochhead, MSP for Moray, said:

“Gordonstoun is one of Moray’s major employers and it is a sign of confidence in its future that the school has plans for such significant investment.

“As local MSP I of course welcome Gordonstoun’s plans to invest in its famous Moray campus and hope this investment will boost our local economy.”

Cllr Kathleen Robertson, Moray Council Leader, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity for both Gordonstoun and the local area. While this investment will go directly to the school, the projects it’ll fund will provide a major boost to the economy of Moray.

“These projects will not only further develop the campus but also show a commitment to community service by securing a more sustainable future.

“I look forward to seeing the development of these projects and the positive impact they will have on Moray.”

Moray MP Douglas Ross said:

“These significant plans for further investment at Gordonstoun are great news for the local economy here in Moray.

"The school plays an important role in the area and the three projects which will be developed over the next three years show the leadership team at Gordonstoun are committed to continuing and enhancing the educational excellence at the school as well as investing in a businesses which is one of the major employers in our community."

Coastguard Centre

Gordonstoun is the only school in the world to have its own Coastguard Centre. The opening of the new building will ensure students have the latest equipment and facilities for improved planning, coordination and output of this service to support Moray’s coastguard service and local community. The centre will also be used to support other areas of Gordonstoun’s broader curriculum.

The building is being generously supported by the Mikellides family, current parents in the school.

Solar Farm

This will be followed by the development of a solar farm on site early next year. The school’s sustainability strategy includes phased replacement of heating and hot water systems, currently powered by fossil fuels, with renewable energy sources. As part of the strategy, the school will establish an energy centre with a new connection to the national grid. Further details on the site of the solar farm, its size and output will be announced in due course.

Sixth Form Centre and Business and Enterprise Centre

Work on the new Sixth Form Centre and Business Enterprise Centre is planned to begin in the coming months, ahead of a planned 2026 opening.

The Sixth Form Centre will include a ‘cafe’, social spaces, formal and informal study areas and Higher Education Hub. It will also be fitted out with kitchen facilities to teach the students how to cook and for hosting functions and other events. There will also be a range of more formal learning spaces and classrooms.

The new Business and Enterprise Centre will be named in memory of the first teacher of Business at Gordonstoun, Laurence ‘Laurie’ Beaton, thanks to generous support from his son, former Gordonstoun student Andrew Beaton. Laurie Beaton was part of the team which wrote the first curriculum for an A level in Business.

The building will be surrounded by an ecological wetland, with access to the building from a raised walkway, and has been designed by award-winning architects Rivington Street Studio, who specialise in developing new education facilities across the UK.

Wendy Mason, Director of award-winning architects, Rivington Street Studio, added:

“The new Sixth Form Centre will provide a good quality social space similar to what you would find at university. With a training kitchen to learn cooking skills, an informal study area and a café this new building will give them their own identity and provide a gateway to whatever they do beyond Gordonstoun, whether that is going to university or something else.

“Having the Business Enterprise Hub in the same building is ideal to support and encourage those senior students wishing to pursue a career in business.

“Sustainability is at the heart of our design, meaning the new building will be highly insulated using little energy. Like the Queen Elizabeth II Rooms, it will set the standard for new sustainable teaching and learning spaces across the UK.

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