WORK has started on Unsworth's new £12 million high school.

Work on Castlebrook High School's new site began last week at a groundbreaking ceremony with a group of year nine students.

Sue Armstrong, academy principal, said: "It is fantastic to see the build finally underway.

"The habitat of the great crested newt created some delay but it is now full steam ahead to ensure our new school is ready and open for May 2019.

"There will be no disruption whatsoever to learning during the course of the building programme.

"It is simply business as usual until we move schools in May 2019.

"Whilst our current school building is attractive and very well maintained, it is not particularly well designed or energy efficient.

"Our fantastic staff and pupils are really looking forward to moving into our new school.

"It will finally put Castlebrook High school on the map as a centre of educational excellence with outstanding facilities."

Work began on the new £12 million building on Monday, January 8, and the first stage involves creating a new temporary car park at the front of the existing school.

The new school will be built on the playground area in front of the school's all-weather pitch.

Jo Morgan, Chief Executive of Shaw Education Trust, which manages the school, said: "We are absolutely delighted that the new build has begun; our students will soon have access to outstanding facilities, and this will further accelerate the excellent performance of the academy.

"We are thrilled to be able to provide our community with the high quality education provision and resources they deserve. Exciting times ahead."

Construction pupils from year nine were selected to attend the ceremony with Mrs Armstrong.