George Hine House to become Leicester Sikh free school

The site viewed from Gipsy Lane Image copyright Google
Image caption The former Towers Hospital site is on Gipsy Lane in Leicester

Part of a former mental health hospital has been chosen as the site of the first Sikh free school in Leicester.

Falcons Primary School is expected to open in September 2014, taking children from all faiths.

The school aims to supply the demand for a Sikh education in Leicester, which it says is not currently met by the city's existing schools.

Planning applications have been submitted to use part of the Towers Hospital site in Gipsy Lane.

A statement on the school's website said the Sikh faith was "not represented in the Leicester family of schools and parents who wish their children to have an education in a faith environment are at a disadvantage as spaces available for them are far and few".

Towers Hospital, an institution for people with mental illness, closed its beds in 2000 and saw its last outpatients in 2013.

George Hine House, a Grade II listed building on the site, was later used as the headquarters of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.

Architects propose converting George Hine House into the school but the outside of the building would mainly remain the same.

Ward blocks behind the George Hine Building would be demolished.

Some parts of the site have already been developed into apartments.

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