SKIPTON Academy is set to be transformed following a major £3.2 million investment from the Government’s Department for Education.

The first phase of renovations is due to start with the Calder Block in June, following GCSE examinations, and will involve every part of the school, including the grade two listed former Aireville House, ‘House Block’.

The work will take place in stages, to minimise disruption, and is expected to take around 18 months, providing modern classrooms for the next 30 years.

Principal Richard McManus said it was fantastic news not just for the academy, which recently joined forces with the Moorlands Learning Trust and Ilkley Grammar School, but for the wider Skipton community and the many groups who used the school’s on site facilities.

“The improved learning environments will provide our students with a school they can be proud of for years to come,” said Mr McManus.

“The Skipton community will also benefit from the better facilities as all of the sports, drama and music groups who use our site will also see improved provision.

“This long overdue investment will allow us to continue to be a hub for the community of Skipton and sends another positive signal that The Skipton Academy and Moorlands Learning Trust are on the right path in providing high quality comprehensive education in Skipton.”

He added: “Over the last couple of years we have been working hard to improve standards as well as the perception of academy in the community and this investment demonstrates how the Department for Education backs the vision and ambition that I hold for the academy and shows that the future is a bright one.”

Mr McManus added: “This academic year has already seen some great achievements for TSA, particularly joining Moorlands Learning Trust and this funding will now provide the enhanced learning environment that the young people of Skipton deserve. I am delighted that in securing this funding and continuing to raise academic standards we are creating a great place for the young people of Skipton to come to school.”

Helen Williams, chief executive of Moorlands Learning Trust said, “This is more fantastic news for The Skipton Academy and represents another key stepping stone in their transformation journey. This significant capital funding will ensure that students at TSA will not only benefit from continued improved educational experiences and standards over the coming years in partnership with Moorlands Learning Trust and Ilkley Grammar School, but also now from a much-improved learning environment.”