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Work completed on £22m school revamp

New look: The project to revamp St Marys Catholic College and Christ the Kind Catholic Primary School has been completed

New look: The project to revamp St Marys Catholic College and Christ the Kind Catholic Primary School has been completed

This is the first look inside a multi-million pound redevelopment at St Mary’s Catholic College and Christ the King Catholic Primary School in Blackpool.

The huge project, which started in November 2010, saw construction firm Eric Wright demolish parts of the college but retain the Victorian front seen from St Walburga’s Road.

The existing school has been refurbished at a cost of £22.8m to establish a 1,220 place secondary school, Sixth Form Centre and a brand new 210 place primary school.

The scheme also saw the building of a new parish church for Christ the King.

Returning this week, pupils and students will have access to new facilities, including science and computer labs, 40 classrooms, a fitness gym and a new school hall, dining hall and staff facilities.

The sixth form learning centre also offers modern facilities with the introduction of a communal area and a learning resource centre.

The revamp was funded under the Blackpool Building Schools for the Future and Primary Capital Programme.

The final phase of the project involved moving Christ the King Catholic Primary School and Christ the King Parish Church on to the site.

John Wilson, managing director of Eric Wright Construction, said: “We are very proud to have been involved in this multi-phase project which will change the face of primary, secondary and further education in the area.

“This scheme also provided us with a platform to provide employment opportunities for budding builders thanks to the Apprenticeship Training Association which saw us, our supply chain and subcontractors recruit apprentices to work on the project.”

Stephen Tierney, executive headteacher of St Mary’s Catholic College and Christ the King Catholic Primary School, said: “This outstanding partnership of the schools, Blackpool Council and Eric Wright has helped establish a beacon of excellence on the top of Layton Hill.

“The secondary students and Sixth Form are already benefitting from the new building. I know the primary children and staff will be so excited when they move into their new buildings in September. The future looks bright for both schools.”

Carl Baker, assistant director of children’s services at Blackpool Council, added: “The school together with the local authority are extremely pleased and fortunate to have been granted approval of this new building by the Department for Education under the Building Schools for the Future Programme back in 2010.

“It has been a long journey, but one which will provide the young people and staff with an exceptional environment for their future learning and work.”

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