LAW firm mfg Solicitors has played a key role in helping a new educational academy near Hereford to open its doors to students for the first time.

Led by partner and corporate expert Sarah Astbury, the firm advised on the recent launch of the Robert Owen Vocational School based at the former Holme Lacy Primary School.

The new school, which is a not-for-profit co-operative organisation, has now opened its doors with mfg providing advice to ensure a smooth opening.

Ms Astbury, who fronted the project, oversaw elements such as establishing the academy’s governing and charity documents, leading discussions with the Department of Education, and providing training guides for the new governors.

“It has been really rewarding to be able to work on such a worthy project that will do so much for the future of young people, especially in places like Hereford and Leominster.” she said.

“The school is now providing a flexible and balanced programme of general and vocational education for people aged 14 and over who come from a diverse range of rural backgrounds.

“We were able to offer assistance on the funding agreement, responsibilities, as well as helping to set up the school’s governing body and a whole host of intricate governance and constitutional agreements.”

A total of 30 GCSE and A Level students, aged between 14 and 19, make up the initial intake of pupils at the school, which plans to progress their intellectual, cultural and personal development, as well as presenting them with effective vocational work.

Chris Morgan, secretary of Robert Owen Academies Trust, said the law firm offered expert advice in several fields, including property and employment law.

The ethos of the Robert Owen Group is built around education, training and regeneration.

The school also runs teacher training programmes and offers funding to teach skills, such as engineering.

It is currently in temporary accommodation at the former Holme Lacy Primary School but there are plans to move to a permanent, modern building at the former Hereford High School for Boys site in Hereford’s Blackfriars Street later this year.

Builders, architects and on-site project managers are currently working to complete the site ready for the school to move in during September.