PUPILS and staff at a primary school are now using new learning facilities following a £7 million re-build.

Ravensworth Terrace Primary School at Birtley, near Chester-le-Street, has left behind its old Victorian building and started the new term in a purpose built facility.

The new school, currently rated Outstanding by Ofsted, will provide an additional 210 places in the future, double the current number of pupils.

Headteacher Denise Thompson said: “We’ve been eagerly watching the new school being built and wanted the children to feel the excitement of starting the new academic year in their brand new school.

“The staff and contractors have been working hard during the summer holiday to make sure this could happen. I am sure that everyone is really impressed and proud of their new school surroundings.”

An official opening will take place later in the school year.

Gateshead Council was successful in bidding for funding aimed at rebuilding schools where schools would experience an increase in pupil numbers in the future.

Councillor Gary Haley said: “Providing a local school for our children is very important.

“The new school is at the heart of the community and is ideally placed to meet the needs of the people of Birtley now and in the future.”