THE new Pendle £22.1million superschool opens its doors to pupils for the first time today.

Headteacher of the state-of-the-art Marsden Heights Community College, which sits off Halifax Road, Nelson, hopes the new 9,400 square metre building will shine out as a ‘beacon of the community'.

With panoramic views on to the fields and a clear view of Pendle Hill from the back of the school, headteacher Mike Tull has created a fluid divide between the school and the surrounding community.

The school was created around initial sketches of a lighthouse as part of the school’s vision to become the centre of the community.

Mr Tull hopes the 714-pupil school, created as part of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme, will be used to its full capacity with students and the community alike.

Floodlit all-weather pitches, a fitness suite, a 220-seat theatre, biometric thumbprint technology in the cafeteria area and learning resource centre, a faith room, break out spaces, flexible classrooms, a horticulture area and a conference learning area are just a few of the innovations included in the four-storey build.

And staff are eager to move into the new site as Mr Tull revealed over 3,000 storage boxes from both sites were unpacked and cleared in record time.

Mr Tull said: “This is the best one so far. We have learnt from the experiences of the others gone before.

“Although the building was delayed this has worked to our advantage and have had much more time.

“The designs are bespoke and I was extremely fortunate that the architect was fantastic.

"I wanted an iconic building, a beacon of the community.”

School bosses are also promoting sustainability with a natural ventilation system, rainwater harvesting, photovoltaic cells, a biomass boiler and cycle facilities.

Mr Tull added: “This fantastic building solution has been achieved through blood, sweat and commitment of the whole staff team.”