BENTON Park School in Rawdon has been given formal planning approval this week for a £28.5 million new school building.

Preliminary works are already underway on the building which has been commissioned by Leeds City Council. The projected completion date is in time for the Autumn term 2021, which coincides with the increase in the pupil admission number for the school to 300 per year, which was agreed to cope with increased demand for secondary school places across the area.

This project is something the school has been working towards in collaboration with Leeds City Council for a number of years.

Headteacher Delia Martin said: "Staff and Governors cannot express enough, the relief and excitement we all feel that our students will finally be able to experience the high quality learning we provide, within an excellent physical educational environment. The plans which all parties have worked tirelessly on, look fantastic and it really will be a fabulous environment in which to work and learn.

"One of the things we are also looking forward to is our school being able to operate as a real hub at the heart of the community in which we work. This is something we have not been able to fully achieve with our current premises due to their condition and so we look forward to being able to work with community groups to offer an exciting range of facilities within our local community.

"Personally, I would like to pay tribute to the hard work of all the staff who have been involved in supporting school to get to this stage and who I know will continue to be instrumental in ensuring we have a smooth transition into the new premises. This is a collaborative effort between school, Leeds City Council and other agencies and contractors and we are very much looking forward to continuing our work with them to bring this project to a successful conclusion. In addition, on behalf of the whole school community I would like to thank Governors for their time, commitment and continued support throughout this whole process."

The contract has been awarded to BAM Construction.