CONSTRUCTION firm MMP has won a £2m contract to convert a former girls' school into luxury flats.

The group, based in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, has been appointed by Darlington Homes to transform the former Claremont School for Young Ladies in Darlington.

The Victorian villa, in Trinity Road, was recently home to Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College's art, fashion and music departments.

Bob Jobson, business development manager at MMP, said: "We're really looking forward to the project, as it is always extremely satisfying for a construction company to be part of bringing an old building back to life."

The firm will turn the building into nine apartments. A 1960s extension will be demolished and replaced with a three-storey building, creating a further 12 flats.

The project, which starts on site this month, should be completed by June next year.

It is the third scheme carried out by MMP for Darlington Homes, which is a subsidiary of Darlington Building Society. Others included a restoration project at the Grade II listed Thorngate Mill, in Barnard Castle.