Birtenshaw Special School is being built on Darwen Road in Bromley Cross and will replace an older school located next to the site. The school will be able to provide specialist education for up to 40 children aged four to 19 years old at any one time.
The purpose-built school has been specifically designed to cater for the needs of children with physical and learning disabilities and features large classrooms, wide corridors and plenty of open spaces. It also features a hydrotherapy pool, library and computer room. The school is due to open in summer 2012
Bolton-based Birtenshaw is a registered charity whose mission is to build a brighter future for children and young people with special needs. The charity, which has been caring for children since 1955, also operates several children's homes in the Bolton area.
David Reid, Birtenshaw's Chief Executive, said: "This is an important milestone for the charity and we are delighted that work has begun on the new special school. The purpose-built design and range of facilities that will be available is fantastic; having such a state of the art facility will ensure we continue to provide excellent special education for years to come and that as a result many children, some of whom have the most profound disability, have a better quality of life'.
Funding for the project was provided by a private and public sector collaboration. NatWest commercial banking in Bolton provided a £1m loan to Birtenshaw whilst the Social Investment Business, a body that manages funds on behalf of several Government offices, provided the remainder of the funding.
Anne Johnson, Senior Relationship Manager at NatWest, said "Once open the new school will provide Birtenshaw with an excellent environment in which to care for and educate disabled children. We are very happy to provide financial support for this project."