Pupils and staff have welcomed the opening of a new state-of-the-art school.
Children, families, teaching staff and VIP guests joined in the celebrations marking the opening of the new Backworth Park Primary School building.
The school has relocated from its existing site on Station Road, to a new location south of the golf course within the new Backworth Park housing estate.
It features state-of-the-art classrooms, improved outdoor play space, a multi-use games area and a garden, providing the school with a larger capacity and space to expand in the future, if necessary.
Barbara Middleton, Executive Headteacher at Backworth Park Primary School, said: “Everyone, from the staff and governors, to the pupils and their parents, has been looking forward to moving into this building and the opportunities it will bring – especially for sports and outdoor provision.
“I’d like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who has been involved in getting us to this point – it’s been an amazing journey and I’m delighted that we have been able to mark this day in such a special way.”
Nine-year-old pupil Thomas said: “I really like it, it’s bigger and better and all my friends like it too.”
Alan Campbell, MP for Tynemouth, and the Duke of Northumberland were on hand to help mark the official opening of the new building, with the MP unveiling a commemorative plaque to celebrate the opening while the Duke of Northumberland buried a time capsule to be opened in 2043.
Mr Campbell said: “I was pleased to open the new school.”
“The new school is a first class facility which will provide an outstanding learning environment for local youngsters.
“In light of the new housing in this area it was a much needed addition and also provides access to valuable community facilities.”
The Duke, who wrote a letter to be included in the children’s time capsule, added: “I am delighted to be here to mark the opening of Backworth Park Primary School.
“Northumberland Estates has been much involved in recent development here in Backworth so we were delighted to assist when asked to provide a suitable site for the construction of this new school.
“The Estate, and indeed the Percy family, have a long tradition of supporting education in the North East, dating back many centuries, and it is great to be able to continue this tradition here.
“Any school is at the heart of its community, and I would therefore like to take this opportunity to wish the staff and the children all the very best in their endeavours and I hope they, and indeed future generations, will enjoy and benefit from these wonderful new premises.”
Coun Peter Earley, cabinet member for children, young people and learning, said: “I’m delighted that we could be here today to mark the opening of the new Backworth Park Primary School.
“The new building is absolutely fantastic and these new facilities will allow the school’s staff to build on the outstanding support they already provide these pupils with.
“North Tyneside’s fantastic education system has received such praise over the past few years, with a number of our schools named among the best in the country – and I’m delighted that we can build on this with another state-of-the-art building.”