A GROUNDBREAKING ceremony has taken place on the site of a £5.6m primary school in north Durham.

Work to create the new Greenland Community Primary School in South Moor, near Stanley, is now underway.

Councillor Dennis Morgan, the chairman of Durham County Council, Kevan Jones MP, councillors Claire Vasey, David Marshall and Janice Docherty joined headteacher Rose Bainbridge and representatives from Surgo Construction in cutting the first sod.

The new building will be a replacement for the current school and construction is starting on land opposite the war memorial.

Coun Vasey, cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: "This building is an example of our commitment to investing in improving the life chances and wellbeing of the children and young people of County Durham.

"It’s providing a much needed facility which will enable the delivery of a world class 21st century education for the families of South Moor and will help to raise the profile of the area."

The school will have places for 360 pupils and will include a multi use games area as well as facilities for the community.

It has been designed by Durham County Council architects and will be built by Surgo construction.

It is hoped the school will open its doors to pupils in 2013.