�2million for new school facilities

A PORTISHEAD school is celebrating after securing �2million of funding for new facilities.

A PORTISHEAD school is celebrating after securing �2million of funding for new sixth form facilities.

Gordano School has been awarded a grant from the Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA) to create more places to meet the growing 16-18-year-old population in Portishead.

The school was notified in June that �30million in Government funding had been released for areas in need of more sixth form places and North Somerset Council helped in submitting a bid for the money earlier this month, which was also backed by MP Dr Liam Fox.

It was only announced last week which areas would receive the cash and Gordano School’s headteacher Gary Lewis met with architects on Monday to discuss how it can be used.

It is hoped, subject to planning permission, the funding will enable an existing single-storey extension to the sixth form centre to be demolished and replaced with a two-storey building.

Headteacher Gary Lewis said: “We are thrilled that in times of cuts and reductions we will be able to provide first-class quality accommodation for our post-16 students.

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“Portishead needs new facilities to keep pace with demographic growth and this opportunity allows us to take steps in that direction.”

Mr Lewis said although the plans are yet to be confirmed, the new facilities could include university-style study spaces, a library, four or five new teaching spaces, break out spaces and a sixth form garden.

The existing sixth form centre would also be refurbished.

The school hopes to submit a planning application in August, following consultation with Clevedon Road residents, with the hope of completing the work by summer 2012.

This will be the second major building project to take place at Gordano School in as many years. The school has recently taken possession of its new �2.2million English block, which is currently being fitted with furniture ready for September.