Duke of Gloucester Opens Consett Academy

The Duke of Gloucester was in Consett on at the beginning of March to officially open the £44m Consett Academy and brand new leisure centre.

IMG_6373smallConsett Academy, co-sponsored by New College Durham and Durham County Council, was conceived in January 2012, and pupils moved into the new building in September 2015.

IMG_6372smallThe state of the are leisure centre next door has two swimming pools, a sports hall, squash courts, dance studios, a gym and a full-size 4G rugby pitch.

During his visit the Duke spoke to staff and joined students in the academy’s science laboratory and ‘Innovation Zone’ for technology, engineering and maths.


The 71-year-old royal also unveiled a commemorative plaque at both buildings.

Councillor Simon Henig, head of Durham County Council, said: “This development represents a major investment in the town and local people are already enjoying the advantages of having these outstanding educational and leisure facilities on their doorstep.

DSCN0444small“We know that the community – and young people in particular – will continue to benefit from the opportunities the leisure centre and academy offer for many years to come.”

The duke, who was an former architect gave up his role to take on royal duties after his elder brother, Prince William, died in 1972 in a plane crash.

He lives in Kensington Palace with his wife, Birgitte van Deurs, and has three children.

As a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth, he carries out a significant number of public duties and is associated with more than 150 charities and organisations.

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