HALTON’S first freeschool will be moving into an innovative £12 million state-of-the-art facility in the summer.

The framework, windows, floors and roof are now taking shape as work on the three-storey building is ahead of schedule.

Sandymoor School is set to open in September, 2014, with 200 pupils in years seven to nine, and 60 sixth-formers.

Head teacher Andy-Green Howard, aged 45, said: “There is huge pride in seeing this happen.

“This will be the heart to a growing community. I am massively excited. There are plans for 1,200 homes here over the next 5-10 years.

“We will be opening our sports and technical facilities to everyone and offering evening classes.”

The school, founded by five Runcorn parents, opened in temporary accommodation in September, 2012.

Its initial nine staff has grown to 23 and will increase to 90, eventually teaching 900 pupils aged 11-18.

The school has teamed up with private company, Educate Me, to deliver two sixth-form courses, level 3 BTEC qualifications in sport and exercise and enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Mr Howard said: “We will bring in professionals from all walks of life. We have links with premier football clubs.

“The enterprise course is from the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy and has had a significant amount of input from Dragons Den Peter Jones himself.

“It will teach students how to start up companies, prepare business plans and get funding.

“For me it is really crucial to make sure our students are successful.

“We want to make sure they are employable in everything we do.

In 2015, Sandymoor plans to launch a range of academic A Level courses for 150 sixth-formers, taught by their own staff.

Mr Howard added: “We have proved everyone wrong. We are providing a fresh approach, an alternative, different slant on education.”