A NEW £1 million primary school is being built at Atherton.

As part of the Government's £39 million 'New Deal for Schools' £1,540,000 has been earmarked for Chowbent Primary School.

At present the school is housed in former church and domestic buildings which the Department for Education and Employment views as both unsafe and unsuitable for delivering the national curriculum.

Part of the building dates back to 1720.

Announcing the boost Education and Employment secretary David Blunkett said:"Raising standards in schools is at the heart of our education strategy - but crumbling school buildings make the task harder.

"An extra £39m for North West schools will ensure staff and pupils will have buildings fit to work in."

Chowbent head Douglas Bury welcomed the news:"It is marvellous - a great relief. We've been waiting a long time for this, it's the fourth year a bid has been submitted.

"We will now have a new school for a new millennium and that's excellent news for the children, staff, governors and parents."

Education committee chairman Cllr Brian Wilson said:"I am very pleased the secretary of state has recognised the need for these schemes.

"We put in a lot of hard work to ensure the bids were successful and once again this government has put its money where its mouth is."

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