WORK on the final stages of a £43m school and leisure centre complex has begun despite the coronavirus crisis.

Northumberland County Council is nearing completion of the state-of-the-art development in Ponteland, with work now under way on the new accesses for the school.

Roadworks will be in place for 18 weeks to improve the current road system on Callerton Lane and provide proper access to the new site.

The council has changed its working practices to ensure the workforce is kept safe from coronavirus, with social distancing measures in place throughout the essential work.

The development, which has been deemed critical by the council to ensure the school is ready for pupils as soon as possible, will feature a 1,600 pupil secondary school, a 420-pupil primary school, a 52-place nursery, a leisure centre and pool, a library and a cafe.

Councillor Wayne Daley, the county council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This is a key part of one of the largest developments ever delivered by Northumberland County Council.

“We’re now in the final stages of this extremely ambitious project to provide two fantastic new schools plus state-of-the-art leisure and community and sports facilities, which I know the people from Ponteland and surrounding communities will love.”

A one-way system will be in place along Callerton Lane for the duration of the works, to minimise traffic issues.

In addition, the council will also be carrying out surface water drainage work on behalf of the Environment Agency, completing the Ponteland Flood Alleviation Scheme.

The work aims to capture surface water that has the potential to flood properties in the Mayfair Gardens area during extreme weather.