ENVIRONMENTAL students have welcomed a new living roof that will breathe fresh air into the city centre.

The roof of the newly-developed Newcastle Sixth Form College has been laid with a selection of indigenous plants designed to cut carbon dioxide around the campus, reduce the likelihood of flooding and entice wildlife to the centre of Newcastle.

The sustainable, living roof is made up of 12 different species of plants that will flower in summer to attract a variety of birds and insects, as well as help insulate the building.

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The state-of-the art building will be finished in spring and open to students from July - boasting the latest in environmental and sustainable technologies.

Student Emily O'Regan, 18, from Gateshead, who last month won the gold award in Environmental Science at the UK World Skills Competition with classmate Matthew Otubu, said she was thrilled to see the College leading the way.

She said: "It shows Newcastle Sixth Form College is contributing to sustainable development and is setting a precedent for the rest of the city to follow."

The new college, which is the only purpose-built sixth form college in the city, will open to students in July.