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Exciting plans for a new £10 million teaching block at Samuel Ward Academy have been shared with West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport visited the Haverhill school on Friday to talk first-hand to staff, students and the project team behind the new building.

The project will see Wates Construction build a new three-storey building on site – replacing two existing blocks at the front of the school building, including the current reception area.

The new building will also include a state-of-the-art library resource centre, the SEN resource base and specialist music and art rooms and media suites.

Mark Neild, headteacher at Samuel Ward Academy, said: “It was great to have Matt Hancock at the school so he could see our exciting plans and talk to equally excited students.

“Our new state-of-the-art building is starting to take shape and it will make such a difference to the education we can provide to our students.”

Mr Hancock added: “I am delighted that the building work at Samuel Ward Academy has now started.

“There has been a lot of work up to this point to secure the funding for this £10 million new build and to make sure this money is spent accordingly with what Haverhill needs.

“This is great news for the school and the students and it is another sign that Haverhill is literally a town on the up.”

The work is due to be finished by Spring 2019 when the Wates project team will start the process of demolishing the old buildings and converting them into green space.

Mr Neild added: “I am delighted with the fact that the old blocks will only be demolished once we start teaching in the new building. This means there will be minimal disruption for students.”

Ian Vickers, Managing Director, Wates Construction Home Counties, said: “Our project team was very happy to welcome Mr Hancock on site to find out more about the new school building we are creating for Samuel Ward Academy.

“Having worked on over £200m of education projects in the region over the past five years, we will use our extensive experience to ensure the new building provides the Academy’s students with the environment required for them to reach their potential.”

Funding for the work is coming from the Government’s Priority School Build Programme.

A video of the building plans and new block can be viewed on the school’s website www.samuelward.co.uk.