AN East Cleveland school is able to pursue its somewhat controversial goal of constructing a new single-site building, following confirmation of a £3.8m Government grant for the area.

Freebrough Community College currently operates from three school sites at Skelton, Brotton and Loftus.

Redcar and Cleveland Council has said a new school will benefit the whole area. However, no final decision has been made as to whether it will be built at Skelton.

Some residents at Brotton and Loftus fear such a move would seriously harm their communities. Others have said endless debates and delays have hindered progress.

One student recently asked all parties to move forward, for the benefit of education.

By combining the proceeds from the sale of two sites with a share of the grant, Freebrough hopes to concentrate most of its activities at one location.

A group of mothers recently lobbied their MP, Dr Ashok Kumar, objecting to the idea. He welcomed this week's financial announcement, saying: "This cash injection comes at the right time, to see that first class educational facilities are available for East Cleveland. This is the single largest cash allocation to any North-East council. It shows the Government has listened to local children, parents, head teachers and staff. They have all said that our children deserve the best.

"Now the means to attain that have been made available."

Freebrough will share the grant, called a targeted capital fund, with West Redcar School. The money has been given to Redcar and Cleveland Council by the Government.

Freebrough principal Diane Edwards said: "This is wonderful news. We can now make the first firm footsteps towards our vision of a new school for East Cleveland."

West Redcar School has £575,000 for a new performing arts space for drama, dance and music. The facility will assist in its application to attain specialist status in the arts.

Head teacher Stewart Rees said he was thrilled at the news and the arts space would be a top-class facility for the Redcar barea.