A STATE-of-the-art new school costing nearly £9m has officially opened its doors.

Cumbria County Council’s chairman Cllr Christine Bowditch, alongside pupils from Sandside Lodge School in Ulverston, cut the ribbon at a ceremony marking the occasion.

The school has moved from its old site to a purpose built 80-place school next to Ulverston Victoria High.

Donna Stretton, head teacher at Sandside Lodge School, said: “The new Sandside Lodge School building offers a huge range of additional experiences and opportunities for our students. 

"We now have the space to be creative and provide an even more personalised approach to learning. 

"The specialised rooms such as aquatic therapy, rebound therapy, sensory movement and regulation, experience room and thrive play allow the staff to support students with all aspects of their development. 

"The students have waited a long time for this building but it’s been well worth the wait.”
The new school, which cost £8.6m, is one element of Cumbria’s ambitious inclusion strategy, providing modern teaching facilities for children aged between two and 19 with severe learning difficulties.

Cllr Sue Sanderson, Cumbria County Council cabinet member for schools and learning, said: “Now everyone is settled in this fabulous new school, it’s great that we can mark the occasion with an official opening celebration.”

Cllr Sanderson, who is also chair of the governors at Sandside Lodge School, added: “The new school building provides state-of-the-art facilities for special needs learning and is already making a world of difference for both the children and staff. 

"The contrast could hardly be greater with the old school site which didn’t meet modern day standardsfor access and learning.”

Seddon was the main contractor for the new-build and construction work started on site in June 2018.

Ed Wootton, regional director at Seddon, said: “It’s been a privilege to bring the excellent facilities at Sandside Lodge to life, creating a fantastic space for the community’s young people who have complex educational needs to learn and grow.”