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Opening of Haywood Academy

On 11th September 2015, phase one of the Haywood Academy project in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent was officially opened by the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP.

Steve Harding and Jenny Walker of Rolton Group were delighted to be invited to attend the ceremony, which saw an impressive turnout of professionals, students, and even politicians!

The event was located in ‘Speakers Corner’, an area within the building where students are encouraged to stand in front of an audience and talk about a topic they are passionate about. The occasion commenced with speeches from those who had significant involvement with the scheme, including former MP Joan Walley and Executive Head Teacher Carl Ward, as well as the local MP Ruth Smeeth and the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP. Their speeches focused on the education of the students currently at Haywood Academy and also those in the surrounding primary schools, signifying that this is the start of something really special.


Art was also at the centre of many of the speeches, as artist Philip Hardaker had created some beautiful pieces with tiles that once lay in the lobby of the Houses of Parliament. John Bercow MP was also presented with a piece of artwork made by Philip Hardaker and the students of Haywood Academy (pictured above). These speeches were followed by a Q&A session where students within the Academy and the local primary schools asked questions to the guests who had delivered speeches. All of the guests in attendance were then encouraged to look around the newly refurbished building.

To date, the project has included the refurbishment of the existing Grade II* listed town hall formerly known as Burslem Town Hall into a new Sixth Form Centre for which Rolton Group provided mechanical and electrical services. Phase two is now in progress, and you can read more about our involvement here.