A Skipton school is forging ahead with a “transformational” building project after being awarded £1 million.

The grant, from the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund, will allow Skipton Girls’ High School to build a two-storey extension block, including eight new classrooms and two specialist science laboratories with a preparation room.

The school, an outstanding engineering academy which is currently rated top in North Yorkshire for its GCSE results and is one of the leading state schools in the country, is now appealing to the community for help in equipping its new facilities.

Building of the new block is due to start during the summer holidays and it should be in use by September next year.

Jan Renou, executive headteacher, said the school was delighted with the investment.

“Governors for many years have been tasked with ways of developing the site to maximise space and create the kind of environment necessary to support our outstanding teaching and learning,” she said.

“Until now, this has only been undertaken through incremental improvements.

“However, this grant will now allow the school to make a transformational impact on the resources available to our students.”

Mrs Renou said the school would be contacting parents and others to ask for help in making sure the new facilities, which will replace temporary accommodation, will be equipped to the highest standard.

“In order to ensure the new block, and especially the laboratories, are equipped with the latest technology, the school will be undertaking a fundraising campaign.

“We will be contacting parents, our partners in business and industry and the local communityto ask for their support in this venture – making sure that SGHS can continue to provide an outstanding education for the generations of girls still to come through our doors.”

The grant was also welcomed by John Goodfellow, chairman of governors, who said: “This welcome investment will allow the school to continue to lead the national campaign to ensure more girls see science and engineering, our speciality, as valid and worthwhile career options.”

The extension, which was only recently given planning permission by Craven District Council, will be built to the north-east of the main school and to the south of sports pitches.

The school became an academy in April, 2011.