CONSTRUCTION has started on a new primary school which is set to open next year.

The Wellington College Academy Trust in Ludgershall has been planning the expansion of its family of schools to include a new primary facility named Wellington Eagles Primary Academy.

Under the Army Basing Programme (ABP), work is underway to create 246 new family homes in Ludgershall for troops returning from Germany so the school is needed for the soldiers’ children.

And now, builders have began constructing the new primary school which will accommodate up to 420 pupils.

Abrilli Phillip, executive head teacher of the Wellington College Academy Trust said: “I am delighted for and look forward to the opening of Wellington Eagles Primary Academy. Having very recently returned from a trip to Asia to attend the openings of the Wellington College International and partner schools, Wellington Eagles is another one of our growing Welly family.

“I am especially proud that we as a trust won the bid to open a new school in the area that will make the transition of the military families so much easier in what must be a difficult time for them all.

“Wellington College Academy Trust currently has, on roll, the largest number of military children of any school in the country. We are proud to serve our military families who make up around 70 per cent of our current primary academy and 50 per cent of our secondary academy.”

Ludgershall and Perham Down councillor Chris Williams said: “It is needed as part of the ABP so its great its being built and that it is happening on our doorstep.

“At the moment, Castle Primary School has had an extension built to cater for some of the children and the families that will be moving here earlier.

“However, the school won’t be able to cater to the full amount of new children arriving.

“It is also great news for the Wellington Academy to be awarded the contract, which will help make soldiers and their families new lives in Ludgershall easier.”

In April, the minister for schools, Nick Gibb, announced that additional funding of £2.8 million had been allocated to Wiltshire Council for service children moving to the area as part of the ABP.

Service families are due to move to the area as early as 2019.

Overall across Salisbury Plain, the ABP will provide living and technical accommodation for about 4,000 service personnel and their families.