Francis Clark has been advising one of the region’s most progressive and successful schools on a project to build a new boys boarding facility.
Stover School is a registered charity located in seventy-acres of glorious, secluded grounds near Newton Abbot and just off the A38 Devon Expressway.
It is a vibrant, non-selective independent school with a distinguished history and is celebrating its 80th year in 2012. Stover is fully co-educational with some 430 pupils aged from 3 to 18 catering for all academic abilities and offering a range of scholarships and bursaries. The school also has an impressive pupil to teacher ratio of 8:1.
The school is academically very successful and offers a broad but balanced curriculum. It has a strong musical and drama heritage (the school’s choir opened the 2012 Devon County Show) and a strong sports ethic particularly in cricket, rugby and tennis. It has also recently been providing Premiership football club Arsenal with access to its extensive playing fields and facilities for the coaching of aspiring academy players.
The school is very accessible and vigorously promotes itself to the wider community as a venue for clubs, conferences and meetings and even for weddings.
Girls’ boarding has been long-established at Stover School but until now male students from outside of the area have only had the option of staying with host families during term-time. The new accommodation sleeps twenty boys and is situated in part of a converted stable block at the historic school.
Chris Hicks, the Francis Clark partner who advises Stover School said: “The school is very go-ahead and is aware of the impact a changing economy and a volatile market can have on an educational establishment such as Stover, but they are prepared to do something about it by investing in new facilities and new ideas.
“We have provided accountancy, audit and compliance services for the school for well over 20 years. We also advised on the financial implications of the boys boarding conversion and to provide our specialist VAT team to ensure that maximum VAT reliefs were claimed on the alterations, thereby making considerable savings in VAT.”
The new boarding facility isn’t the only new initiative at Stover School. A purpose designed cricket pavilion was recently opened by Middlesex and England legend Mike Gatting and plans for a new biomass boiler to heat the entire complex of old and new buildings has come to fruition.
School Bursar Henry Cummins said: “We have a lot of Grade II* Listed buildings and they are costly to maintain, especially to heat. Replacing the existing heating system with a biomass boiler is a major investment for us but signals our commitment to a green and sustainable future.
“Francis Clark also advised on part of this project which also makes economic as well as environmental sense. Despite having to replace the campus’ entire water mains system, the project has a seven year payback and will then go into profit with the monthly payments arising from the Renewable Heat Incentives Scheme for heat generation using green technology.
“We are very grateful to the strong and enduring relationship we have developed with Francis Clark who we very much see as part of our team.”
Stover School holds regular Open Days and details of these can be obtained by calling 01626 354505 or visit www.stover.co.uk