HUNDREDS of school places have been created as Wiltshire prepares to welcome its newest residents this summer.

As around 4,000 service personnel and their families move to the county from Germany as part of the Army Basing Programme, school sites have been expanded and created to accommodate hundreds of new students.

The programme, first announced in 2013, is funded by Ministry of Defence and supported by Wiltshire Council, and was launched to ensure there are enough school places to accommodate hundreds of children moving to Wiltshire, as well as sufficient infrastructure and health facilities.

The school build programme includes Wellington Academy in Tidworth which has been expanded to welcome an additional 300 pupils.

The expansion of Avon Valley College in Durrington, for a further 270 pupils, will be completed by February 2020, and Wellington Eagles Primary School in Tidworth will be complete by Easter 2020, creating 420 new spaces and 30 nursery places.

Work has also taken place on Kiwi Primary School, in Bulford, which has an additional 150 places, and St Leonards Primary School, in Bulford, which has an additional 50 places, both completed in 2016, along with St Michaels Primary School, in Larkhill, opened in September last year, accommodating 240 pupils and 60 nursery pupils.

Councillor Jane Scott, leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “Our army families are busy preparing for their move to Wiltshire, with many joining us in July.

“An important part of this is ensuring children have school places this September.

“I visited St Michael’s Primary School recently, which has been built to ensure there are sufficient spaces for the catchment area, and it’s a great example of the school build that has been happening across the county to provide bright, welcoming classrooms that will help our newest residents settle in.”

Mark Duddy, Army Basing Programme director, added: “With the rebasing of service personnel and their families from Germany and within the UK now underway and ramping up over the summer months it is reassuring that there is sufficient school places available for the children from September 2019 onwards.”