BUILDING work has started on a new school in Hereford which will have up to 60 placed for pupils with special educational needs.

On the site of the former Broadlands Primary School building in Prospect Walk, off Whittern Way, Interserve Group Limited will demolish existing buildings as part of the project.

The firm was chosen as the contractor for the Beacon College Special Academy last year, with the project being planned since.

Operated by Barrs Court School Academy Trust, the academy will be a special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) school delivered under the Department for Education's free school programme.

It will cater for pupils with a range of specialist needs, with up to 60 pupils, aged from 16 to 19, with severe and complex learning difficulties, including autism.

In a drive to increase capacity for special needs free schools, the DfE gave councils the opportunity to identify where a new special free school would benefit the area.

Dan Harmer, Interserve Construction's project manager, said: "I am really proud to be involved in Beacon College.

"This worthwhile project will hopefully benefit the DfE and Barrs Court Trust, but more importantly improve the lives of young adults with severe learning difficulties to ready them for life beyond education."

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He added: "The Interserve team have spent months planning the scheme in readiness for starting on site. We have amended some of those plans to comply with Covid-19 guidance.

"We are ready for the challenge ahead and have made every effort to work with consultants and the supply chain to programme the works, so that we don't impact the end date for the client."

Broadlands Primary School moved to Aylestone Business and Enterprise College in September 2015.