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Whitehaven schools' £33 million funding boost

Work on the £33m development should begin next year. Credit: ITV Border

A £33 million funding package for an education campus and community sports facilities in Whitehaven has now been agreed.

The development will be built on the current site of St Benedict's High School, and construction could start as early as next year.

The facilities will be used by St Benedict's, as well as Mayfield Special School, and the sports facilities will be accessible to the whole community.

This has been a passion of mine for a decade now. The work has been painstaking and at times gruelling but this shows what can be achieved when we all share a common vision.

These investments will be transformative for Whitehaven and for thousands of young people and their families now and in the future. It’s an enormous step forward. New schools, a new hospital, new nuclear investments. We’re building a new and exciting future and our best days are ahead of us."

– Jamie Reed MP


School children meet Tour of Britain mascot

Children with the Tour of Britain mascot Credit: Cumbria County Council

The end of the summer term is always special for school children and ToBi, the official mascot of the Aviva Tour of Britain, helped make it even more magical for two primary schools in Cumbria this week.

Yanwath School near Penrith and All Saints Primary School in Cockermouth are both on the route of the two Cumbrian stages of the big race in September.

ToBi visited the schools to encourage any last-minute entries in the ‘Design the starting flag’ and ‘Design the winner’s jersey’ school competitions, which closes for entrants on the last day of the school term.

The two local sponsors of the competitions, Cockermouth-based automotive engineering business M-Sport and United Utilities were also at the schools to mark their backing of the big race. Both M-Sport (starting flag) and United Utilities (winner’s jersey) will be involved in the judging, with the winners announced at the end of the summer holidays.

The two companies say backing the Cumbrian stages of the UK’s largest free sporting event is an important symbol of their support for the local community, as they recognise the economic and longer-term benefits the Aviva Tour of Britain brings to the county.

Standing from left to right next to the M-Sport rally car behind the seated children from All Saints Primary, Cockermouth are Mr Stretch (Active Cumbria performer), ToBi (Tour of Britain mascot) and John Hilton, Project Director from United Utilities Credit: Cumbria County Council

“Cockermouth will have never seen anything like the start of the Tour before and we’re excited to be getting behind the race. For me, there is no bigger adrenaline rush than being behind the wheel of a world rally car, and I’m sure it’s something similar for the cyclists at the start line of the Tour of Britain.

"I’d like to see the flag competition entries come up with a design that captures all of the excitement, energy and glory that comes with competing at the top level of your chosen sport.”

– Malcolm Wilson, former World Championship rally driver


Reading campaign aims to break record

The council is trying to get as many readers involved as possible. Credit: PA

Young readers in Cumbria are being encouraged to break a world record this summer.

Children between the ages four and eleven can get involved in the Summer Reading Challenge: they have to read six or more library books of their choice, over the holidays.

The theme is record breakers, and the organisers are hoping to receive a Guinness World Record Breaking number of pledges for the campaign.

Cumbria County Council is hoping plenty of local youngsters will get involved:

It’s not every day you get the chance to take part in a world record attempt, so I’d encourage as many people as possible to go along to participating libraries and join the reading challenge.

It’s a great way to encourage children to brush up their reading skills during the long summer holidays, and you can sign up for free at your local library.”

– Councillor Ian Stewart, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Libraries

You can sign up for the challenge:

  • Saturday 11 July, from 10am-12 noon, at Carlisle and Penrith libraries
  • Monday 13 July at Workington library (9.30am-2.30pm)
  • Kendal library (9.30am-11am)
  • Barrow library (9.30am-1.30pm)
  • Longtown library (11.15am-1pm)
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