A MASSIVE £25m boost was handed to Ellesmere Port Academy by the Government.

A phone call from Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Michael Gove gave the academy's new building the green light on Friday.

The MP telephoned Dr Colin Hankinson, director of Academy Development at lead sponsor the University of Chester, to say that the Academy will receive the full £25m funding for its new build, on a 12 acre central site, south of Sutton Way in 2012.

The University Church of England Academy in Ellesmere Port was among 123 academy projects across the country cast into doubt early last month when Mr Gove halted Building Schools for the Future schemes where work had not yet begun.

But now Mr Gove says that the school, along with 43 others where work was at an advanced stage, can have its rebuild funded immediately.

Kevin McDermott principal of the Academy said: "The news is fantastic for our community and very exciting. This gives us a springboard for further successes.

“The new building will be a beacon for learning in the area, with a state-of-the-art design and using the latest technologies to ensure our students receive the best possible education."

The Academy, which opened in September last year on the two predecessor school sites, will move into the new building in September 2012.

Dr Colin Hankinson said: “We are delighted that our new build will go ahead as planned. The Secretary of State’s decision is a significant acknowledgment of all the outstanding progress made by the students and staff of the Academy during its first year.

“This inspirational project will provide the much needed high quality facility that our students and the wider community deserve.”

The news was welcomed by Andrew Miller MP.

He said: “I am delighted that after two discussions with schools secretary Michael Gove, commonsense has prevailed. The project had been previously approved after careful evaluation by the Labour Government so I was confident the new administration would not be able to back off.

“I hope to see the work start as soon as possible to enable us to get the true benefits of the Academy working on one site. The exciting design and the enthusiasm of the school’s leadership will, I am sure reinvigorate secondary education in Ellesmere Port.

“I want to see the new learning hub comprising the new FE college and the Academy become a focus of a new drive for excellence in education for all our young people.”

A detailed planning application for the new state of the art building is expected to go before the Council’s Strategic Planning Board later this year.

An eight acre subsidiary site, bordering Luton Way, will accommodate top quality sports pitches and an athletic track.

Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Mike Jones: “The Government’s decision to allocate this funding represents the culmination of 5 years of hard work by Council staff. The project was in the slow lane but was ‘fast tracked’ by the new authority.

“Education is at the very heart of the Council’s regeneration plans for Ellesmere Port and the academy will benefit generations of Ellesmere Port youngsters by providing first class expertise in the very best surroundings.”

Cllr Derek Bateman, Leader of the Labour Group and Ellesmere Port Cllr said: “I am delighted that what started as a dream some years ago will now become reality.

“This is very good news for the youngsters of Ellesmere Port - and indeed their parents.”