A DETERIORATING Lakeland pre-school building in urgent need of repair could be handed a financial lifeline.

Hawkshead Esthwaite Primary School has been named among just six schools nationwide to make the final of a competition to win an £80,000 classroom.

It would replace its pre-school building which, although funded by a community fundraising campaign seven years ago, is now in a poor state of repair.

The side of the unit has rotted away and, in a tough financial climate, the school has struggled to raise money to repair a leaking roof and decaying walls.

In their submission to the TES and Clearspace Buildings contest, school staff made a plea for a replacement building and could now be named the winner of a new 30-pupil learning space.

Joyce Hallam, head teacher of the 62-pupil primary, said she was delighted it had been shortlisted.

“There is a very real concern that the current building’s deterioration may lead to the eventual closure of the facility in our small village,” said Mrs Hallam.

“The community did so much to get the existing pre-school building, but everyone involved is disheartened, as it will be a massive struggle to raise the necessary funds to replace the existing building.

“To have the chance to win this classroom could solve all our problems and make a great contribution to the community.”

TES’s 2.2 million worldwide members will vote online for the winning school, which will be named in February.

If successful, an £80,000 modern, timber classroom will be built on the site with Clearspace Buildings handling planning permission applications, groundwork, construction and internal finishing, including flooring, lighting and power points.

TES editor Gerard Kelly said: “We’ve been covering education in Britain for more than 100 years and organised many competitions for teachers, but we’ve never been involved in giving away a school building before.

“Schools can be squeezed for space, especially if they are popular or in areas with rising birth rates, but creating new classrooms can be hard, as school budgets are tightening and planning and construction are often expensive.”

The school is up against competition from the West Midlands, Hampshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and East Sussex.

Voting will open online at www.tesconnect.com/building between January 10 and 31.