THE first blow has been struck in the demolition of a former school to make way for a £14m centre of educational excellence.

The Freebrough College buildings at Brotton, east Cleveland, have been the centre of vandalism and crime in recent months.

But to resident's delight, a demolition contractor has already been on site, clearing out the building.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Councillor for Education, Steve Kay, started the demolition work on Wednesday.

Even though the old building is being flattened, it will continue to provide support, with all the materials crushed and reused on site as building materials.

Councillor Kay said: "For many who attended the former Warsett School and then Freebrough, this will be an emotional landmark as the old gives way to the new.

"When the new building has been completed, it is hoped that former pupils and friends of the school will take comfort from knowing that by replacing the tired old structure, the futures of many more young people will be secured through high quality facilities providing equally high quality education."

Tenders for the construction work are being sought and it expected construction on the new school can start this summer.