�5m Little Plumstead Primary School, near Norwich, opens on Monday

Children in Little Plumstead, near Norwich, will spend their first day at their new �5m primary school on Monday .

The school's 177 pupils will begin their new half-term in a modern building with seven classrooms, huge grounds and the latest technology.

The new Church of England school, off Hospital Road, replaces the former school building, built in 1864.

Norfolk County Council has worked alongside the Diocese of Norwich and the school to develop plans for the new building, which will eventually cater for up to 210 children - 40 more pupils than the former school.

The diocese secured government funding for the project and Norfolk County Council invested an extra �3.4m – half for the building project and half to develop infrastructure around the building, following the collapse of property developers Cofton Limited.

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The building is on the former Broadland Hospital site and was built by Mansell, designed by Feilden and Mawson and project managed by NPS Ltd.

Jo Quarterman, chairman of Governors, said: 'This school is nothing short of miraculous. The difference between the new school and the old school is phenomenal. It gladdens your heart just being here.

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'We have come from a school site with no grass and not enough room for a netball pitch to a beautiful green site with so much open space and even our own wood. Our children will really benefit from the opportunities we now have for outdoor play and learning.

'The school site now offers great opportunities for the whole community and we are working closely with the church to bring everyone together. As part of this, Little Plumstead Church is opening a drop-in caf� every Monday morning for parents and other residents to coincide with the school drop-off times.'

The new school will include a special plaque, made from one of the church's Victorian pews, marking the old and the new.

Ian Mackie, county councillor for Thorpe St Andrew, added: 'The new school is essential in this growing community and the bright and modern classrooms will be a tremendous benefit to pupils' learning.'

Alison Thomas, county council cabinet member for children's services, also welcomed the news.

She said: 'I'm delighted that young people in Little Plumstead have got a new school and I hope they enjoy learning there.

'We have built in capacity at the new school to take into account the increased population in the area.'

The school has been built on the former Little Plumstead Hospital site. As reported, the last remaining piece of land at the site has now been put up for sale by Savills Norwich.

Are you behind a new planning development in the city? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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