WORK is about to start on a multi-million-pound building that will provide a Hampshire school with a raft of new facilities.

The Barn, a 650-seater venue due to open at Ringwood School next summer, is the product of four years of planning and fundraising.

It will provide the 1,600-pupil school with extra space for a range of activities including exams and drama.

Facilities will include a cinema-grade projection system and a theatrical sound system. The Barn will also boast a technical control room that can be used to teach BTEC production and performing arts.

Proposed improvements to the site in Parsonage Barn Lane, Ringwood, will also result in better dining facilities for the students.

Head teacher Leanne Symonds said: “We are delighted that, as part of this new build, our students will have a refreshed and enlarged eating space, much more in keeping with provision at most secondary schools.

“The reconfiguration should mean much shorter queues and all year-round access to a dining space that isn’t interrupted by many school activities including exams.

“In addition The Barn gives us so many new and enhanced opportunities for both our students but also for the wider community."

The project has been made possible by a £2.1m grant from the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s Condition Improvement Fund.

Sam Coombes, the school's operations manager, said: “This project is the result of many years’ hard work to bring a facility to Ringwood that is so desperately needed.

“Our school community is the heartbeat of the town and our students are as excited about bringing this space to Ringwood as we are.

“I really look forward to working with them on the many planned fundraising events over the coming months and to the launch of The Barn in summer 2022.”