A SCHOOL is set to expand its pupil intake, Lancashire County Council has agreed.

The authority's cabinet agreed to expand Unity College in Burnley to meet the demand for places following the closure of Hameldon Community College.

The members agreed to approve a permanent expansion of 30 pupil places each year from September 2021 at the college, in addition to the permanent expansion of 30 extra places each year from September 2020, as agreed by the cabinet in August last year.

The cabinet also agreed to rescind the decision made by cabinet in August 2019, approving a permanent expansion of 30 places each year at Shuttleworth College in Padiham, as well as approving a temporary increase of 30 pupil places at Shuttleworth College, Padiham for September 2020 only.

It also approved the expenditure for the permanent expansion of Unity College, Burnley.

The county council's Easden Clough site on Morse Street will be used for the extra pupils, subject to relevant permissions being obtained, and work taking place to provide suitable facilities for education.

An extra 150 places at the school will be created within five years, which the previous report had proposed to be provided at Shuttleworth College.

However after investigation of five potential locations at Shuttleworth it has been decided not to permanently expand the school.

Three of the sites considered are affected by the possible presence of protected species which would delay the programme past the date that the places are needed by.

The other two locations are affected by historic mine workings.

The expansion at Unity College, at Towneley Holmes, will increase the number of year 7 places from 240 to 270 in 2020 and a further 30 in 2021. The initial expansion in places from September 2020 was agreed at a cabinet meeting held in August 2019.

The extra places that were needed for September 2019 have been provided temporarily by both schools taking on the additional pupils.

County Cllr Phillippa Williamson, Cabinet Member for children, young people and schools, said: "The county council is responsible for making sure that there are enough school places to meet the demand.

"We are constantly reviewing changing demographic factors to make sure that we have the right number of school places throughout the county, and we knew that there was a need for some additional secondary places in this part of the county.

"Unity College will provide the extra places that are needed permanently."