A £36.1m investment which will see 1,900 pupils from two Hexham schools brought together on one site continues to take shape.

Pupils from Queen Elizabeth High School and Hexham Middle School will be located on the existing high school site, in a project which will see the retention and refurbishment of the Grade II listed Hydro building and Westfield House, with separate new buildings for the middle school and high schools constructed to the south and north.

Last year, Queen Elizabeth High School was named the second best state secondary school in the region.

It was the third year in a row that the Hexham school had come runner-up on the list by the Sunday Times’ Parent Power guide.

There will also be new access points, car parking, bus parking and landscaping, including a new community garden area.

It is being largely funded by Northumberland County Council with a contribution from the Government’s Department for Education.

In light of the council’s commitment to climate change and reducing emissions, an additional £400,000 will be invested in sustainability measures - looking to ensure that the new buildings achieve an energy EPC A rating.

Former cabinet member for children’s services, Coun. Wayne Daley, said: “It will create inspiring learning environments for students from Hexham and surrounding communities for years to come - transforming education provision in the area.”

The new development, which is due to open in September 2021, will also boast advanced new sports facilities for the school and wider community.

Plans for the facilities include two multi-use game areas and a two court sports hall for the middle school, and a six court sports hall, six tennis courts and two artificial grass sports areas.

Earlier this year the scheme received a £482,575 grant towards a new all-weather floodlit 3G artificial grass sports pitch.

The Hadrian Learning Trust and Northumberland County Council have been jointly awarded the grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.

At the time, Cath Homer, local Hexham county councillor, praised the school’s new vision.

She said: “I will be working closely with the project team to ensure that the excellent new facilities allow strong cultural and creative aspects to learning, as well as modern and sustainable sporting facilities for use not only by students but by the local community.”