THE Department for Education have handed Interserve Group Limited the task of designing and building a new £8 million college in Hereford.

Beacon College Special Academy will have places for 50 pupil, aged from 16 to 19, with severe and complex learning difficulties once it opens in April 2021, Interserve said.

On the former site of Broadlands Primary School on Prospect Walk in Hereford, behind three of the city's colleges, the existing buildings will be demolished. Works will include removal of asbestos as contractors work to clear the site before the new building is started.

Operated by Barrs Court School Academy Trust, a specialist in Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) teaching, the Beacon College will create a facility for pupils with a range of specialist needs.

The contract in Hereford follows similar SEND projects in Bristol and Manchester carried out by Interserve, an international support services, construction and equipment group.

Simon Butler, Divisional Director at Interserve Construction, said: "Being named preferred bidder for the Beacon College Special Academy project by the Department for Education reflects well on Interserve's strong track record for delivering first-rate SEND school projects across the UK.

"We are able to draw on a wide range of experience and expertise within Interserve to build outstanding educational facilities by a locally-based team of construction professionals. We are delighted to once again be the trusted partner of choice for the Department for Education, and Beacon College adds to our portfolio of work in the UK education sector."

Broadlands Primary School moved from the site to a specially designed facility to Aylestone Business and Enterprise College in September 2015.