SCHOOLS in Tidworth and the surrounding area are ready for the arrival of an influx of services children, chiefs say.

As part of the Army Basing Programme some 4,000 service personnel and their families will move to Wiltshire this summer.

Wiltshire Council has worked closely with partners to ensure the county is ready for its newest residents.

The school build programme, funded by the Ministry of Defence, has involved creating new schools and the expansion of some school sites.

In total there will be an extra 90 early years, 750 primary and 375 secondary school places available.

Leader of Wiltshire Council, Councillor Jane Scott, said: “After many years of preparation and planning we are now on the home straight and ready to welcome the service personnel and their families from Germany.

“Partnership working has been so important to ensure essential works are carried out and we are grateful to local residents for their understanding as those works have been ongoing.

“We recognise the huge contribution, both economic and social, the military personnel and their families bring to the county and we are looking forward to welcoming them later this year.”

The school build programme includes:

n Expansion of Wellington Academy, Tidworth, for additional 300 pupils

n Creation of Wellington Eagles Primary School, Tidworth, for 420 pupils and 30 nursery places

n Expansion of Kiwi Primary School, Bulford, for additional 150 place.

n Expansion of St Leonard’s Primary School, Bulford, for additional 50 pupils

n Creation of St Michael’s Primary School, Larkhill, for 420 pupils and 60 nursery places

n Expansion of Avon Valley College, Durrington, for additional 270 pupils.

Although Wellington Eagles Primary will open in September 2019, pupils will initially be based in a 12-classroom block to the rear of the Wellington Academy secondary school, directly opposite the new school site. The interim building has its own self-contained playground and grassland area.

Mark Duddy, Army Basing Programme director, said: “The provision of school places is a pivotal piece of the Army Basing plan.

“We have been working closely with Wiltshire Council since 2013 to ensure that all supporting facilities and infrastructure is provided.

“I am delighted that such progress has been made across Salisbury Plain to welcome the children back from Germany and those moving within the UK.”

n Prospective Wellington Eagles and Eagles Nest Nursery families are invited to open days at the Wellington Academy on February 28, 4pm to 6pm and March 1, from 10am to noon.