HEXHAM'S new school complex is set to benefit from a state-of-the-art all-weather football pitch.

On Tuesday, Northumberland County Council's cabinet voted to accept a grant award of £482,575 from the Football Foundation.

A council report said there has been a need for an all-weather pitch in Hexham for several years, but a site had not been identified.

However, with the approval of plans to co-locate Queen Elizabeth High School and Hexham Middle School, the site of the current QEHS was selected as a preferred site.

The report added that the current grass pitches at QEHS have been unplayable for a number of years due to drainage issues and an infestation of rabbits.

Speaking at Tuesday's meeting, Coun. Cath Homer, who represents Hexham East and is portfolio holder for arts and leisure, spoke of her delight at the news.

She said: "This is just fantastic news for Hexham. It's not just about the students at Hexham Middle School and Queen Elizabeth High School, it's a huge win for sport and football in the local community.

"It's been a noticeable gap in the provision for far too long.

"I for one am really pleased to know we have got that grant through a joint piece of work from Hadrian Learning Trust and Northumberland County Council."

The council unanimously agreed to accept the grant.