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8 February 2010, 14:16
A new sixth form's going to be built in Bicester as part of plans to build 5000 new homes on the edge of the town.
The government's going to give Bicester £9m to kick-start development of the eco-town project. The money will also go towards promoting cycling and walking in Bicester.
The homes are due to be built on the north-west edge of Bicester, near Bure Park. The sixth form will be added to the Cooper School.
Councillor Michael Gibbard from Cherwell District Council said: "This money will help us turn our aspirations for Bicester into a reality.
"We want to make the most of this fantastic opportunity and will ensure we put forward a strong case for any future funding made available."
Oxfordshire County Council leader Keith Mitchell said: "The creation of what will be the town's second dedicated sixth form will provide educational stability and continuity for many more young people in Bicester. Having to travel out to a new school or college in a different town can be quite an upheaval for teenagers.
"It is sometimes a disincentive to continue their education, especially when friends have to go their separate ways, and has consequences in terms of congestion and carbon emissions with more cars on the road. The creation of what would be the town's second dedicated sixth form would provide educational stability and continuity for many more young people in Bicester."
North Oxfordshire MP Tony Baldry said: "It is excellent news that the Government has committed and is paying a first payment of £9.5 million for the North West Bicester eco project, and I would hope that we should be able to secure a significant further multi million pound contribution next near. I think there is also a recognition by the Government that for this project to work, the government is going to have to do other things, such as speedily improving Junction 9.
"This is a very significant and welcome commitment by central government to Bicester’s infrastructure and development."