TEMPORARY classrooms are to be built at Ponteland High School to cater for extra pupils when the school becomes a secondary in September next year.

The10 additional classrooms received planning permission from Northumberland County Councillors on Tuesday.

In April, members granted conditional permission for a new £46m schools and leisure centre complex on the site of the existing Ponteland Leisure Centre, which will be demolished. The complex will house a new secondary and primary school as well as a state of the art leisure centre.

The temporary classrooms will cover the time lapse between the high school’s change in status and completion of the new secondary school, due to be September 2020.

The ambitious project has suffered a number of setbacks. Firstly, the the Government’s National Planning Casework unit took longer than expected to examine the proposals. Then, in June, the council’s preferred bidder, Willmott Dixon, pulled out for commercial reasons, prompting a new tendering process.

Earlier this week, the council awarded the contract to Kier Construction. Its managing director, Brian McQuade, said: “We have a strong track record of delivering first-class educational and local community buildings and our aim is to create learning environments in which students can thrive.

“Throughout the duration of the project, we will look to offer training and job opportunities, as well as engage with residents to ensure that they see local benefits.”

Leader of Northumberland County Council Peter Jackson said: “Ensuring top quality learning environments are available for our young people is a key priority for us.”