THE first principal of a new academy school has been appointed.

Kevin Reynolds is to take up his post at principal designate of the new Consett Academy school on July 1.

Mr Reynolds, currently deputy head of Parkside Sports College in Willington, will oversee the preparations for the new academy, which is due to open in January 2012.

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The academy is being formed by the amalgamation of the existing Moorside Community Technology College and Consett Community Sports College, before moving to new £26m buildings on Belle Vue Playing Fields due to open in 2014.

The appointment was announced this morning by the academy’s lead sponsor, New College Durham, and co-sponsor Durham County Council.

Mr Reynolds said: "This is a unique opportunity to lead the creation of the new academy which will serve the people and community of Consett for many years to come.

"It is a great privilege to have been entrusted with such an important and challenging task.

"Much now needs to be done in a short period of time as we prepare our staff and students for the opening of the academy in January 2012 and complete the process of designing and building the new school and the sport and leisure facilities which will be located with it."

John Widdowson, principal of New College Durham and chair of the Academy Trust Board praised Mr Reynolds’ experience, vision and enthusiasm and added: "I know that Kevin will have the full support of the community in Consett as he builds the solid foundations upon which the future of the town and its young people will depend"

Coun Clare Vasey said: "I have every confidence that he will be a strong and forward thinking head, well-suited to leading a state of the art academy."