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Ceremony marks start of £22.5m Furness Academy plan

STUDENTS, and potential future pupils, of Barrow’s academy performed a sod-cutting ceremony to mark the start of construction of the £22.5m school.

Yr 5 pupils from around Barrow, County councillors, Furness Academy representatives and builders from Kier at the sod cutting for the new Furness Academy site. JOE RILEY REF: 50031608B000

Furness Academy’s head boys, head girls and Year Seven pupils were joined by Year Five pupils from Barrow primary schools to carry out the turf-cutting yesterday.

The young people gathered with representatives from Kier, which is building the school, and Cumbria County Council, at the academy’s South Site, off Park Drive, where the building will stand.

The county council was given more than £22m from central government as part of the council’s reorganisation of secondary education in Barrow.

The new building is set to open in September 2013 and will accommodate 1,200 students, in the two and three level school. A 3G sports pitch is due to be ready this September.

Elliot Campbell, 11, a Year Seven Furness Academy pupil, said: “The building is going to be more modern and we are getting more facilities. We’re excited.

“I’m looking forward to there being more places to go at break and lunch – it will be less crowded.”

Megan Snailham, nine, is in Year Five at Greengate Junior School, and hopes to be one of the first Year Seven pupils.

She said: “I feel happy to be involved. I felt quite special to be asked. I’m quite excited because it will be a new experience.”

The building was set to be ready for September 2012, but was delayed, firstly by a consultation on whether to base it on one site or two. Then there was the question of whether the academy would keep its funding with the change of government.

Finally, at the end of last year, an inquiry ruled the playing field was not a town green, following an application to designate it as such.

Principal Douglas Blackledge said: “It is a momentous day. The last two-and-half years have been quite a challenge to get to this stage.

“What is really important is this finally indicates this is all about young people and their life chances.”

Have your say

There's only one sod at Furness Acadedmy and you won't find it on the end of a spade.

Posted by Wayne Chips on 22 April 2012 at 15:57

Seems like Old John doesn't have a monopoly on rose tinted specs!

Posted by Tony on 29 March 2012 at 18:16

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