THE closure of a major industrial site in Greenford may well pave the way for a new school to be built in the area.

Councillor Jason Stacey, the Leader of Ealing Council, has confirmed they are in advanced talks with GlaxoSmithKline about buying the sport and leisure club in Oldfield Lane North as the site for a new high school.

It was announced yesterday the multi-national pharmaceutical company has started talks with staff about shifting the 800 employees from the Greenford Road site to the Stockley Park in Uxbridge, and sell off the 22-acre factory site and leisure club.

Cllr Stacey said: “We have been in negotiations with Glaxo for a while now about buying that site. There have been rumours for a while that Glaxo want to downsize their operation in Greenford, but what’s taken everyone by surprise is the scale of it.

“We have written a letter to residents around the area to tell them what is going on which should be delivered today, and we have to have a good consultation on it.”

Cllr Stacey, who represents the Greenford Green ward which covers the area, said the building on the site already had a big enough footprint for a school building, so existing pitches around it could be retained as playing fields.

He added: “What we would like to have there is a community facility which everyone could use. A lot of people know the club from going to functions there, and we would like to keep that aspect of it.“ He also said the council would not allow the 22 acre factory and office site in Greenford Road to be turned into a housing development.

He said: “If Glaxo do pull out of the site the big issue is what happens to the land they own. It is designated employment land, so we would like to see more jobs created there.

“We would not welcome any plans for a massive housing development, as we want to create jobs in the area. “Greenford has grown up because houses are built close to industry, but we have to retain jobs.”

If Glaxo do decide to pull out of Greenford it is thought the move would happen within a year.

Is this a good site for a new school? What impact will Glaxo pulling out of Greenford have on the community? Leave your comments below.