WORK to transform a blighted piece of land into a £100,000 community facility featuring a bike track, sports pitches, a play area, an outdoor classroom and allotment land has begun.

Horton Park Primary School in Dawnay Road was awarded money last year to develop an eight acre plot of scrubland which lies next to it and which is also in the centre of the Canterbury estate.

When the scheme is complete it will be known as the Canterbury Community Learning Space.

Working with Bradford Council, which owns the land, the school secured £65,000 from landfill tax funder WREN, £20,000 from public health and the remainder coming from school budgets.

Workers arrived in the site this week, along with a large digger which delighted pupils, and started the ten-week project to level it.

They will return in spring to carry out grass planting, and although the site will take time to fully mature, parts, including the track, should be ready by the summer.

Made out of compacted gravel, the track will double as a bike and running facility, and circle one of the pitches.

The land has been blighted by flytipping in recent years, but once the transformation is complete it will be used by pupils during the day and open for community use outside school hours.

Works are not expected to cause any disruption to the school.

The school has applied for a further grant of £12,000 from Tesco to set up a vegetable garden on the site, and it will find out if that bid is successful later this month.

As well as the track a full size football pitch, a five-a-side playing field, and a wildflower meadow are being constructed, and the school council is now deciding which play equipment they want to see installed.

Once work is completed, the council will hand over the site to the school, and it is hoped that once opened the land will be used as a safe place for the community to exercise and play.

Ruth Bottomley, business manager at the school, said: "There is a big community element to this. People will be able to use it outside school hours.

"We will be using the land for outdoor education, sports tournaments, games and for children to use at playtime.

"The big thing for use will be the outdoor classroom and education aspect.

"The whole community has been very excited about this. A lot of people came to ask what was going on when the digger came on site the other day."

There are very few usable green areas in the estate and Bradford Council said "hundreds" of families will benefit.