WORK has finally started on the new multi-million pound school and leisure centre complex in Ponteland.

A new primary and secondary school for the town will be established at the site on Callerton Lane, along with leisure and cultural facilities and sports pitches.

The development is part of a £52 million investment in schools in the Ponteland Partnership’s schools, which included a new Darras Hall Primary School.

Coun. Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council said: “I am absolutely delighted that work is underway in earnest on this landmark development.

“It will provide both first-class learning environments for students for years into the future and an amazing leisure centre which will give access to high quality sport and leisure facilities and support improvements to health and wellbeing for the whole community.”

The contract for the site was originally given to Willmott Dixon, but the deal was re-tendered in June due to commercial reasons, and awarded to Kier Construction.

Brian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction Scotland & North-East England, said: “We are delighted to be starting construction works on this exciting new development in Ponteland. Working collaboratively with Northumberland County Council, this new learning and leisure space will provide state-of-the art facilities for the community to enjoy for years to come.”

Work is already underway on temporary classrooms at the existing high school to ensure additional secondary pupils can start in September 2019.

The new development is expected to be completed by September 2020.