PLANS for an ambitious scheme to merge all three Westholme School sites into one could move a step closer.

And bosses have revealed the school’s nursery will close from August.

School bosses say the proposals, lodged with Blackburn with Darwen Council last year, will enrich the experience for all students and protect the sustainability of the school.

The independent school is currently split across three locations, and a planning application has been drawn up to convert and extend the current art and music blocks and move all primary age pupils to the existing senior school at Wilmar Lodge, Meins Road.

Lynne Horner, Principal of Westholme School, said: “We strongly believe the children will benefit from being in one place.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council planning and highways committee members are recommended to approve proposals to convert and extend the current art and music blocks when they meet on Thursday next week.

A school spokesman said: “In order to address the challenges of the dispersed sites and underused buildings, whilst maintaining an excellent standard of education, it is now imperative that the different parts of Westholme School are brought together on the single core site at Meins Road.

“This can be achieved by the conversion and extension of existing buildings to form new infants and junior teaching block.

“The new teaching block is designed to meet the needs of Westholme School. It will be efficient in layout and be cost effective to operate. It will also be a building which will engender the well-being of children.”

The move will be a two-staged process, with an interim one-year move of infants, currently located at Billinge House on Preston New Road, to the junior site at Beardwood Bank on Preston New Road.

Meanwhile, the school will carry out the proposed work to Wilmar Lodge on Meins Road ahead of the merger.

By September 2021 the school intends to have all its primary phase pupils from pre-school to Year 6 housed in the converted self-contained building, designed by Harrison Pitt Architects.

The project combines both a conversion and new build, allowing the school to retain many features of both existing buildings.

The children will have their own playgrounds, access points, drop off points for parents and parking.

To fund the new developments at Wilmar Lodge, Billinge House will be placed on the market, followed by Beardwood Bank, Beardwood House and 290 Preston New Road, the following year.

Westholme School was established in 1923 and celebrates its 100th birthday in 2023.