WORK to build a new Carlisle school - after its former site was badly damaged by floods - is finally poised to begin.

Newman Catholic School’s Lismore Place home was submerged in seven feet of water when Storm Desmond struck in December 2015.

It had previously been flooded in 2005.

Support for a new building was pledged from the Department for Education following a visit by the then-Education Secretary Nicky Morgan in January 2016.

Newman School has spent the last three years in temporary accommodation in Harraby, after it was forced to relocate to the former Pennine Way Primary School in Silverdale Road.

This week The Cumberland News can confirm that contractors have been on the new site, a plot of almost 13 acres off Scalegate Road, marking out the boundaries ahead of work beginning.

Delighted headteacher John McAuley said: “It will be great to finally move to our new home.”

Uprooting the school to move into their new site will be the next challenge, but Mr McAuley added: “We’re dealing with people whose job it is to build schools, they’re professionals that deal with it and they let you know what you need to do.”

He is hoping that once they get into the new school it will help stabilise their reports from Ofsted.

It was placed into special measures in 2017, but a lot of work has taken place since then, resulting in progress over the last two years.

However, inspectors ruled in February that it still requires improvement in five out of six key areas.

Mr McAuley said the new building would help give staff and pupils stability.

“We will know where the school is going to be located and our Ofsted report is going in the right direction,” he explained.

“It’s crucial and critical that we have happy and successful children.

“From the day we moved in [to our temporary home] we were fortunate that we had a big support group behind us.

“We’ve got some wonderful temporary buildings - although I use that word temporary, some schools have them for 20 to 30 years. They really are high quality, and, while don’t look great from the outside, inside they’re amazing.”

Contractors, Galliford Try, confirmed a member of staff has been at the site.