AFTER almost 12 years of insufficient outdoor space work is finally underway for a new sports area at the Rivermead Primary School in Melksham.

Since the school was converted from Lowbourne Infants into a primary in 2004, there has been a 65 per cent deficiency in outside play areas.

The new facility, built on a tennis court adjacent to the school, will provide an all-purpose play area with a climbing wall, cricket pitch, space for football and the school's first patch of grass.

Headteacher Nicki Henderson said: “For the first time we will have a flat surface where the kids can play football and go climbing.

"At the moment there is no grassy area in our school so this will be the first bit of grass. We are very happy with it and the children are hugely excited.

“The children will now be able to do team games. They are going to love it.

“They keep saying thank you and one of the children always asks me if it is going to be ready today. Every day, is it going to be ready today?"

Money for the playground had been reserved by Wiltshire Council since the school's conversion to a primary but adequate land could not be found in the area.

When the Rivermead Academy Trust took over what was King’s Academy in September 2014 they proposed to convert the tennis court adjacent to the school into the new development.

Mrs Henderson, who has been headteacher since the Rivermead Academy took over, said: “It is a very huge space. It will be ready in 10 weeks, in about May time, which would be perfect as hopefully by then the sun will be shining.

“It was scheduled to take around 12 weeks and the builders have been working on it for about two.

“We are very grateful to our parents and local community for putting up with the parking as we do realise that it has been difficult.”

There are currently several building works scheduled at Rivermead including works to improve the entrance of the school and to tidy up and extend the current playground space.