£1.2 million for school facilities

A MASSIVE £1.2 million will be spent on improving classroom conditions for students at a Matlock school.

The cash injection will lead to better facilities and increased comfort at Highfields School's Starkholmes site.

The refurbishment, financed by Derbyshire County Council, will see the school's external cladding replaced.

Meanwhile, re-roofing work will be carried out and all windows on the top two floors will be replaced by more energy efficient glass.

Headmaster Ian Alford said: "This grant is brilliant news and it's long overdue. The refurbishment will make the building ten times better – it will be like a new building when it's finished.

"This is something we have wanted for a long time. We will save a lot of money in terms of heating while there will be a significant increase in comfort for the students.

"The modern glass will mean the building won't get boiling during summer and will no longer be freezing in the winter."

Work will start this month and is expected to be completed in February 2005.

Cllr Alan Charles, county council cabinet member for education, said: "This is a major investment which will improve the quality of life for pupils.

"The work will enhance the appearance and energy efficiency, which will make it a better learning environment."

The scheme will be paid for using money from the Government's modernisation fund which aims to improve the condition of all school buildings.

The school will also contribute 123,270 of the money to upgrade school building facilities.

By Will Kilner