BUILDING work has started on an £800,000 project to develop and revamp the music and art facilities at Kirkbie Kendal School.

The windfall will create new spaces as well as completely refurbishing the existing rooms while original building features will also be restored to their former glory.

The money came from the Department for Education who have handed out £393 million for projects to more than 1,000 schools as part of the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund.

Head of music, Jen Donald said it felt like a reward for recent successes.

“Recent productions such as Fame, We Will Rock You and Little Shop of Horrors have showcased the talent of our students,” she said.

“These exciting new facilities feel like a reward for all their hard work. The refurbished teaching spaces will be used for lessons for all age groups.

“The updated rehearsal spaces will be enjoyed by students and the team of music teachers.”

The new centre will be used by the art, music, drama and dance departments, said Mark Leadbeatter, head of creative and performing arts, who added: “These new facilities will support our aims of providing excellence for the school and community.

“Art students have recently exhibited at the Castle Dairy and are really looking forward to the increase in storage space which will allow them to showcase their work more readily.

“Dance have recently moved to their new studio and, not to be outdone, the drama department are performing Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Brewery Arts in December. The increased space will allow all areas to thrive.”

Headteacher Phil Hyman added: “I am delighted by this good news for our students and teachers. I would also like to thank John Gee, school business manager, for his work with Mellor architects in putting the bid together.

“As well as the extended teaching space we are hoping to re-instate the clock which was a prominent feature of the building.”

Work by Pinnington’s Construction has started on the pavilion which was an original feature of Kendal Grammar School.

The school hopes to be using the new facilities next March.