WORK has been continuing on building a new school in Hexham despite the coronavirus lockdown.

The 36.1m project will see Hexham's Queen Elizabeth High School and Hexham Middle School both located on the current high school site, after planning permission was granted earlier this year, and work began in March.

The project will see the retention and refurbishment of the Grade II listed Hydro building and Westfield House, with separate buildings for the middle school and high schools constructed to the south and north.

Last week, onlookers said the construction work had reached the stage where the historic Walled Garden had been demolished.

Despite initial protests, the 155-year-old walled garden will not be retained in the new development, with Northumberland County Council saying that a new garden area would be established.

A Northumberland County Council spokesperson said: "Work is progressing well onsite at the new Hexham Middle and Queen Elizabeth High School development.

"Galliford Try continue to follow Government guidelines regarding Covid-19 to ensure that for those operating on site do so safely and undertake social distancing measures.

"Current work includes a variety of construction operations, the establishment of a site compound, removal of some trees, earthworks and some utilities diversions."