Northumberland County Council (NCC) has announced Willmott Dixon as the preferred bidder for the landmark project to create a combined schools and leisure campus in Ponteland.

The development will see the existing Ponteland leisure centre demolished and replaced with a much improved leisure centre and a state of the art secondary school and primary school.

Other schools across the partnership will also benefit from significant investment in their buildings as part of the £57million plans.

At a meeting today Willmott Dixon unveiled an innovative model to showcase the layout of the site and provide an impression of how it will look.

The development will consist of state of the art facilities included within two brand new school buildings and a fantastic new leisure facility to include; swimming pool, fitness suite, badminton courts, outdoor sports fields, 2 full size 3G pitches and a library.

Steven Mason, Chief Executive of Northumberland County Council said, “The investment into the schools and leisure facilities will provide a fresh and modern learning space for pupils, providing an excellent learning environment and helping to deliver the best possible education for children across Northumberland.”

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the north said, “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract for Northumberland County Council. We have developed a proposal based on the needs of the community and providing a range of facilities which will not only benefit the pupils from the schools but also local people for years to come.”

The proposals were minded to be approved by the County Council’s strategic planning committee earlier this month. Subject to government approval, work could start on the site in July 2017 with the new schools and leisure buildings operational by September 2019.