Work set to start on new school kitchen and hall

Meeting at Rothbury First School to discuss dinner hall.
Meeting at Rothbury First School to discuss dinner hall.

Work will soon start on updating kitchen and dining facilities at a north Northumberland first school.

A contractor has been appointed and the facilities at Rothbury’s village school are set receive a makeover in the next few weeks.

Plans, submitted by Northumberland County Council, were given approval last year.

It came after the school was told that its hall and kitchen failed to meet food safety standards during an inspection.

The facilities, which date from the 1940s, received a one-star rating – based entirely on the condition of the building –after county officers visited in February 2012.

Northumberland County Council then secured funding for a refurbishment of the facilities.

But parents objected as they felt the kitchen and dining room needed a complete renovation rather than just a refurbishment.

A petition against the plans was launched by parents Karen Crane and Jaime Brown, who have children at the school.

And Rothbury ward Coun Steven Bridgett also called for a new purpose-built hall and kitchen to be built.

However, planswere approved for a full refurbishment of the dining hall with a new kitchen area, UPVC windows and a ramp along with new roof tiles and associated works.

It is anticipated that work will start soon and will take place throughout the summer term with the new facilities expected to be ready for the start of the new school year in September.

Coun Bridgett said: “Dr Thomlinson’s Middle School is making and providing a special menu of meals for those pupils at the first school who have school dinners. They are going to be made at the middle school and transported to pupils at the first school each day.”

A spokesman for Northumberland County Council said that there is not expected to be any impact on pupils at the school while the work is being carried out.