A new £18 million school is set to open on the site of a Birmingham university as it moves one of its campuses to the city centre after agreeing a key deal.
The successful chain of Perry Beeches free schools has revealed it will house its sixth – and final - school in the buildings that currently form Birmingham City University's (BCU) city north campus.
Executive head teacher Liam Nolan said: "We are so thrilled, particularly as this is an area in the city that was going to be left absolutely desolate, like a wasteland.
"We started off in Perry Barr, so for us it is like coming home and a rather fitting place to locate our sixth and final new school."
The school is set to open in September next year and eventually will be home to 1,360 pupils when it reaches its full capacity in 2023.
The "all-through" school will include a nursery and sixth form, with places for pupils aged two to 19.
The school, which will be housed in two refurbished BCU buildings, is being funded by cash from the Department for Education (DfE) and will sit close to another new free school set to open this September on land opposite the campus.
Eden Birmingham Secondary – a Muslim faith-based school for boys – will be operated by the Tauheedul free school chain.
Mr Nolan, who runs nearby Perry Beeches The Academy, said he expected demand for places to be high.
"We are in no doubt that we will be oversubscribed, especially given The Academy was deluged with 1,110 applications for its 110 places this year. We have chosen this location after Birmingham City Council has identified a shortage of school places in the area and we are hopeful our school will plug the gap."
It comes as the council is lobbying the DfE over its decision to give the green light for the Perry Beeches chain to open its fifth free school in Small Heath this September.
The council has already successfully thwarted the school's plan to accept 100 pupils in Year 3 this September. However, it is still due to open to 200 pupils across reception and Year 7 in September – eventually offering 1,360 places to pupils aged four to 19 by 2020 when it reaches full capacity.
Meanwhile, BCU said it was determined to "leave a powerful educational legacy" in Perry Barr as it continues its rapid move to its new city centre campus.
Vice chancellor Cliff Allan said: "I am very pleased to have agreed this deal with Perry Beeches Academy Trust for the development of another school in its outstanding chain.
"It shows again our commitment to ensuring that young people will continue to be educated on the site for generations to come.
"We are well under way with establishing two major campuses – in the Eastside of the city centre and in Edgbaston.
"Perry Barr has been an excellent home to our university for the past 40 years and we are determined we will leave the community with the strongest possible legacy."