IT was back to the future for Winsford E-ACT Academy’s 1,100 pupils this week as they walked through the doors of their new £20m school for the first time.

Proud principal Andy Taylor-Edwards watched on as students took their first look inside the new building, filling the corridors and classrooms after years of waiting.

Mr Taylor-Edwards said: “The building is finally complete because the students are here. It’s not just the bricks and mortar that makes a school, it’s the students and the staff – the spirit of the school is now here.”

Although students were on site on Monday, Tuesday was the first time the school’s 1,100 pupils have all started at the same time.

Mr Taylor-Edwards added: “Monday was our induction day and it went brilliantly. It was a day of excitement and celebration.

“Now it’s just down to the business of raising standards and getting focused and not letting this detract from that.

“Already we are seeing the intelligent design of the building is already improving standards.”

A number of impressive features including a dance studio, gym, library, music rooms, sports hall and 425-seater theatre mean the breathtaking school can be used by more than just its pupils, with a key focus placed on extracurricular activities and community use.

The academy, built by Kier Construction in partnership with E-ACT and Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC), was established in 2010 on the campus of the former Verdin High School.

The old buildings are set to be demolished and landscaped by March.

Mr Taylor-Edwards added: “Everyone has worked really hard to make this dream come true. A new generation of youngsters has been welcomed into a caring and inspirational environment with the most modern facilities to prepare our students to take advantage of every opportunity offered in the future.”

Clr Mark Stocks, CWAC’s executive member for education and children, said: “Education is the way to prosperity and this first class building with first class facilities and technologies will improve job prospects for students and encourage employers to invest in Winsford.”