THE principal of the Winsford E-ACT Academy has spoken of his delight after finally getting the go ahead for a £20m school project.

Plans for a new school build were given the final nod two-weeks ago –18 months after the former Verdin High School and Woodford Lodge merged to form the new Academy.

Andrew Taylor-Edwards, who has been a teacher at the school since 1999, said: “It is great news and confirmation of all the hopes and ambitions we have for pupils, staff, and the community.

“It is also a real relief. There has been a lot of talk of about new buildings for young people in Winsford for a number of years now. “People can become a little desensitised when they are so used to barriers being put up, but to finally have confirmation for something like this is just so exciting.

“The kids can’t quite believe it. I was looking at the drawings with pupils the other day when one of them asked in such disbelief if we were going to get it.”

Construction on the site, in Grange Lane, will start over Easter and is expected to be completed by September 2013.

The design of the building has been based around the concept of a ‘community’ with a central corridor acting as a ‘street’ with glass-fronted classrooms on either side.

Plans also include a five-court sports hall, fitness suite and theatre, which will also be open to residents. Vehicle access to the school will also be changed.

Mr Taylor-Edwards added: “The developers have already been on site and marked out where certain parts of the new building will go – we have even taken a walk down what will be our ‘street’ which is currently the running track.

“The building is a huge testament to the local authority that has absolutely championed this all the way and got value for money and done something really creative. £20m may sound like a lot but once we start to divvy it up there isn’t much left.

“The biggest opportunity this new building can bring is that every young person in Winsford goes to a school in Winsford.

“It will be built for 1,700 pupils.

“By the time it is ready we think we may be 400 pupils short but we want to be able to convince people in the town and surrounding areas that, with standards going up and a new environment, this will be the place to come to.”