A SCHOOL is to get a new technology block and hall, thanks to more than £2.5m of Government cash.

Carmel Technology College, Darlington, is among a number of schools in the North-East to receive a share of £24m for new classrooms and other buildings.

The money for Carmel Technology College will be used to build a centre dedicated to technology and an assembly hall and drama block.

The changing rooms at the school will also be demolished and replaced with a modern shower block.

The technology block will have various rooms catering for all the students' information technology needs.

The new hall will be big enough to accommodate large groups of students.

The total cost of the improvements at the college is £2.6m.

Councillor Eleanor Lister, Darlington Borough Council cabinet member for education, said: "We are delighted for the school. This means that they will be have first class facilities to go with their positive academic achievements."

The bid for the Carmel College cash was made by Darlington Borough Council, which worked with the school to decide what buildings and facilities were needed.

A spokesman for the council said: "The existing technology provision at the college is unsuitable, both in size and quantity of rooms. The hall and drama accommodation is also under-sized for the present school capacity.

"The project will allow the school to fulfill its national curriculum requirements and enhance teaching provision."

Since Darlington council became a unitary authority in 1997, it has acquired £12.5m to be spent on school buildings in the town and surrounding areas.

The latest grant was part of a £8.5bn three-year investment in school buildings by the Government.

Having concentrated on primary schools, the Government is eager to improve secondary school buildings.

Catherine Ashton, Schools Minister, said: "We are committed to transforming secondary schools by taking forward the progress made in primary schools. One of the keys to improving school standards is ensuring that classrooms and schools are well maintained and well equipped to provide pupils with a stable learning environment."