Decision details

Nene Park Academy - MAR15/CMDN/26

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education Skills and University

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The Cabinet Member:


  1. Approved the Council entering into a lease with Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust back dated to expire on 31 August 2136;
  2. Approved the Council to novate the design and build contract (including collateral warranties) between PCC and Kier Construction (Eastern) to Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust;
  3. Approved the Council entering into a Deed of Transfer and Release with the Big Lottery Fund and Cambridge Meridian Academies; and
  4. Authorised the Director of Governance to enter into any additional documentation considered necessary to complete the lease and novation arrangements.


Reasons for the decision:

It should be noted that a CMDN is not normally required because a Development Agreement is entered into with the Academy Trust at the same time as the Design and Build Contract which puts in place the legal obligation to enter in to a 125 year lease and to novate the design and build contract. For example, this happened for City of Peterborough Academy, Fulbridge Academy etc. A Development Agreement was not entered into for the Nene Park Academy with CMAT because the school build project was originally intended to form part of the Council’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme which was cancelled. At this time there was uncertainty as to the long term implications of the changes and whether there was an ongoing requirement for a Development Agreement. However, subsequently the requirement for a Development Agreement to be entered into between the Council and the Academy Trust became the Council’s preferred legal approach.


It should be noted that parts of the lease will specifically allow the Academy Trust to sub-let to Peterborough United Football Club, place a requirement on the Trust to provide an autism unit and expand the school’s pupil capacity if necessary.


The approach to enter into a long term 125 year lease and novate the design and build contract with CMAT is consistent with the Academies policy and consistent for example with the Council’s approach for City of Peterborough Academy, Fulbridge Academy in recent years.


Alternative options considered:

The following options were considered and rejected:


To do nothing will mean the Council cannot comply with the agreements made with CMAT to be the Academy sponsor of Nene Park Academy. Further, the Department for Education on behalf of CMAT will intervene, as any alternative approach will be contrary to their Academies policy.


Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Background Documents:

Nene Park Academy Site Plan – Appendix A


Publication date: 24/03/2015

Date of decision: 24/03/2015

Effective from: 28/03/2015

Accompanying Documents: