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New sustainable free school for North Devon


  • First free school in Devon
  • Replaces existing school
  • Continues growth in Devon

Our team of education specialists have begun work on the multi-million pound Atlantic Academy development on the North Devon coast between Hartland and Bideford which will provide 700 places for students between 11-18 years of age.

The school opened as North Devon’s first free school in 2013 and currently has a temporary home in Higher Clovelly while the new facility is created at Steart Farm, a former camping park, which offers a stunning setting for the sustainably-designed school.

Groundbreaking in 2017

Our sustainability team is working closely with AHR Architects, who designed the building, and Torridge District Council to safeguard the special environmental qualities of the site which is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Together with the local Conservation Officer at Torridge District Council the development will ensure that the site’s existing buildings are sympathetically incorporated as part of the history of the school site.

Super facilities

The new school will have a huge range of facilities including a recording studio, ‘Superlab’ for science, learning café, a dance suite and performance area, technology rooms, learning resource centre (library and digital area), hard court sports hall, sixth form hub and much more.

The development will also provide a number of social and economic benefits to the local and wider community during construction with local spend and community projects a feature of all our projects, and when fully operational the new school will employ 80 permanent school staff.

Atlantic Academy Principal, Jordan Kelly:

“I was inspired when I first met the team at Atlantic, this was a team of innovative professionals with a considered approach towards education. Their ethos strikingly stood apart from the traditional perspective of "this is how it has always been done, so this is how it should be done."

Since the Academy opened the staff, students and Governors have worked tirelessly to ensure that the vision of the Academy Trust is effectively delivered in, what has been, at times, less than ideal accommodation. We are all truly excited to break the ground for our new school building which will be so instrumental in developing this area's custodians of the future.”

John Boughton, Deputy Managing Director for Willmott Dixon:

"We are very proud to have started construction on this amazing new facility for the children of Atlantic Academy. This sustainable building will be timber clad to blend in with the beautiful North Devon landscape, connecting to the land with outstanding views over the coast."