Primary's single-site victory

A Preston primary has won a 20-year battle to merge its two sites after it secured funding through the Government's primary capital programme.

Since the 1970s, pupils at Lostock Hall Community Primary have had to put up with both sites being a mile apart and split by a busy A-road.

Headteacher Ian Kirkland said it had been a "logistical nightmare" for staff and parents. "For 20 years, the governors have campaigned to get funding so the school can sit on one site," he said. "Finally, building work has just started on a new campus that will unite the school."

The Pounds 4.7 million building means the school will sit on the same site as the local secondary, where 98 per cent of Lostock pupils go on to attend. Mr Kirkland said bringing the schools together on the same site had sparked a minor regeneration for the local community.

"The merge will mean a new campus of four- to 16-year-olds and we are now entering into joint funding ventures with the high school," he said. "We are now looking at a shared Astroturf pitch with floodlights that can be opened up to the wider community in the evenings and weekends."

The primary capital programme aims to bring at least half of England's primaries "into the 21st century". Chancellor Alistair Darling announced in the pre-Budget report last year that Pounds 3.6bn would be brought forward to keep the programme moving.

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