A NEW school is set to open in the heart of Southampton at the start of the next academic year.

Hope Community School will open in a temporary site in Central Hall in St Marys ahead of the new school year.

More than 140 students have applied to attend the new school, however the location was only confirmed last month.

There will be 60 places for students and the temporary provision will be designed to the appropriate standards for school purposes and is near to the permanent site on Chapel Road.

In the temporary site there will be four classrooms in the building which is used by New Community Church and owned by New Community Network.

School Principal Steve Wright said that the intention is to use the building for no more than two years.

There will also be a playground to the left of the building, which will be used by the students for outdoor learning and breaks.

The permanent site promises "state-of-the-art environment for teaching and learning", with the focus being on working within the Southampton community as well as in the classrooms.

The school has paired with an array of the city's businesses and charities including department store John Lewis and asylum charity CLEAR project to offer children practical skills as well as vocational learning.

Former Saints footballer, Francis Benali has backed the school by agreeing to the their community partner.

Aswell as teaching children, the school hopes to offer courses and workshops to parents living in the area.

Principal Steve Wright said: "This school will be a hub for the community, we want the children to build connections with the area in which they live.

"We will teach Christian based values like, helping others but the school welcomes children of all faiths as well as those with none."

In September 2017 there will be two classes of 30 pupils, the school will then increase with two new reception classes each year until they reach a full capacity of 420 pupils.

Paul Weston, Chair of the New Generation School Trust, said: “We are really excited that this building will be used for learning.

"We look forward to families not just applying to the school, but working with us to make it a real community hub.”

Hope Community School, Southampton will be the first mainstream free school in Southampton city centre.

A free school is set up by an organization or a group of individuals, funded by the government but not controlled by the local authority.

The school is being set up in response to a widely recognised need for an additional educational choice and the need for community cohesion.

Mary Rouse, the Trust’s Project Director said: “We are delighted to have reached this milestone for the school and to be able to offer another educational choice to the local community.”