HALTWHISTLE town councillors expressed mixed feelings over the £2.5m investment in Haltwhistle schools at a recent council meeting.

The Northumberland County Council funding will allow the academy to convert the current middle school buildings to accommodate the new primary school, which it is expected will be established from September 2019.

Chairman of Haltwhistle Town Council, Coun. Alan Sharp, said: “I welcome this investment by the county council, it’s very good news for Haltwhistle.”

County councillor for Haltwhistle, Ian Hutchinson added: “I have been campaigning to the council to put more money into Haltwhistle schools for a while and it’s great to see its finally paid off. Hopefully now parents and pupils can be more confident with education in the town.”

However, Coun. Michael Ridley raised concerns over the fact the money would be spent on renovating the school instead of building a brand new facility. “We want to look at how much Haltwhistle is getting compared to Hexham,” he said.

“The fact that Hexham is getting a brand new school and we’re getting a refurbishment, I hope the decision has been made for the right reasons.”

Councillors agreed to arrange a meeting with WISE Academies to further discuss the renovation plans.