Funding boost for school to develop outdoor facilities

Amble County First School headteacher Joyce Jenkins with some pupils in the school playground.
Amble County First School headteacher Joyce Jenkins with some pupils in the school playground.

Amble First School is set for a major boost after receiving £29,600 of funding to develop new outdoor sports facilities at its Edwin Street site.

The cash will go towards creating a colourful and modern sports area on the playground.

This will include a soft-surface sports pitch, with a range of markings for various games, goals and hoops, an activity track and bouldering wall.

The money is part of Sport England’s £18million National Lottery-funded Primary School Facilities Fund which is helping more schools to provide outdoor multi-activity play areas across the country.

The investment is designed to support those schools which are in greatest need of facility improvements and will benefits both pupils at the school and the local community, who will have access outside school hours.

Headteacher, Joyce Jenkins, is delighted that the bid was successful.

She said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to improve sports provision here at Edwin Street.

“The age and location of our building means that access to dedicated sports facilities has been difficult in the past. Now we can afford to transform part of the school yard into a high-quality, attractive and stimulating sports space that will help us to further achievement in PE and inspire more pupils to be more active in the future.”

Nick Bitel, Sport England chairman, said: “Having the right space to play sport and be physically active as a child is vitally important.

“We are delighted to be investing this funding in Amble First School to improve the spaces that will give children the space to start enjoying PE and sport.”

The funding has been praised by middle-distance legend Sebastian Coe, CH KBE, who won four Olympic medals, including the 1500m gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984.

Lord Coe, the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic legacy ambassador, said: “A positive first experience of PE and sport at primary school is crucial to encouraging young people to be active throughout their lives.

“But for those schools with little or no outside space this can be extremely challenging to deliver.

“This funding will provide better outdoor multi-activity play areas at Amble First School that can be used both within the curriculum and outside school hours by local communities.

“I am convinced this will boost the opportunities for young people to be physically active.

“This fund builds on and complements the Government’s £150-million-a-year Primary PE and Sport Premium.”

The Edwin Street school is one of two first schools in Amble following the closure of St Cuthbert’s in July.