BOOKWORMS can dive into the pages of new stories after a secondary school in Southampton opened its new library.

Children's author Ali Sparkes cut the ribbon at the new facility at Weston Secondary School, in Tickleford Drive, following major renovations.

As reported, the 620-pupil school has been undergoing a £5.5m transformation - including a new sports hall.

Daily Echo: Cutting of the ribbon at the new library on Weston Secondary School

Ms Sparkes - a former Echo reporter - told this newspaper that without her school library, she would not have been an author.

She complimented the design of the school's new library - and said she hopes it will create a good environment for the pupils.

She said: “This is a really good example, so light and bright and beautifully designed. You have got to design them to make kids want to go into it.

"They can't be tucked away in brown, dusty rooms, so they've done such a good job making the library as attractive as possible."

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Headteacher Louisa Paston told the Echo the library will be “life-changing” for pupils.

She said: “We wanted the library at the heart of the school. I wanted the library so that students could see through from the corridor, through all of the books.

“At the end of the library area is a careers area so that they can walk through that learning to the career of their choice.

“To me, books open doors for students and change lives - and what we're trying to do through this is really putting reading at the heart of what we do, showing students how valuable it is to be able to read.”

She added: “The English team have worked so hard to turn this around because we only took receipt of the library properly on Friday last week. So it's incredibly exciting.

“They have worked tirelessly to get this ready for today.”