A NEW multi-games area - in one of East Lancashire’s highest-growth areas - is proving popular with youngsters.

Specialists at ENGIE, which has operations across Lancashire, has been involved in building the new play area, and two classrooms, at Whalley CE Primary.

In recent times the demands of Ribble Valley schools have intensified with the amount of housebuilding in play, especially in Whalley, Billington and Barrow.

Work on the £1million scheme for the Church Lane school was commissioned by Lancashire County Council.

An extension, to house two classrooms, was constructed, alongside a 25 metre by 14.3 metre multi-use games area, installed to Sport England standards.

Robert Ashcroft, ENGIE operations manager, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work closely with the school to deliver these upgrades and improvements and we’re thrilled to hand over this project and see the positive impact these new facilities will have on pupils.

“Our purpose as a company is to improve lives through better working and living environments and we were pleased not only to bring our construction expertise to a project like this, but to also partner with the school and provide a number of health, safety and construction awareness sessions for all students.”

Part of the initial preparatory work at the primary school involved an archaeological dig, as the site is close to the 14th century Whalley Abbey.

This work was required to prove that the chosen location was suitable to provide the games area.

Richard Blackburn, Whalley’s headteacher, added: “We are all extremely pleased with the new facilities, which will make a huge difference to our school community.

“After watching the building grow over the past few months, the children are very excited about moving in.

“We have needed additional teaching space for many years and the classrooms and games area will allow us to provide the extra school places required due to all the new housing in the Whalley, Billington and Barrow areas.”