STAFF and pupils at Winsford E-ACT Academy were celebrating the start of a new term last week after returning to the news that they had received a £20 million cash boost from the Government.

Andrew Kilpatrick, interim principal at the Academy, said the announcement – which came just days before Christmas – was a “huge relief”.

He said: “I thought it was very unlikely that we wouldn’t end up with a significant capital programme here but it was a very pleasant surprise that we were given enough money for a new building.

“I think it is well deserved and will give the Academy even more impetus.

“So far the support we have received from parents has been phenomenal and I think a new building will encourage even more students to come to the school.”

“Obviously, our Key Stage 4 children are disappointed because they won’t be here by the time it has been built but many of the students are Winsford citizens and will be pleased to see it in the town.”

The Academy, which replaced the former Verdin and Woodford Lodge High Schools, was left in limbo over the prospect of capital investment after the Government announced huge spending cuts in October.

However, a new build, earmarked for the former Verdin site, is now expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

“There is no reason to suspect the original timeline, to be in the school by 2013, need to be suspended,” added Mr Kilpatrick. “Indeed it could be earlier than that.

“Obviously the new building will be state of the art and with significant regards to eco friendliness and will allow us to use a range of information technologies.”