A special needs school taking shape in Aldershot is on schedule to open for the new academic year in September.

Hampshire County Council (HCC) decided in 2015 to move the Linden Education Centre (LEC) as its site at South Farnborough Infant School was "no longer fit for purpose".

The county council chose to relocate the LEC to the former West End Infant School site in York Road, Aldershot, vacated in 2015 when it became part of Wellington Primary School.

The local authority launched a £5.2 million project to refurbish and extend the Victorian building, which dates back to 1898, while also adding outdoor play areas.

Aldershot North county councillor Charles Choudhary, who has been involved in the project, said this week that building work was expected to finish in July.

Cllr Choudhary also revealed that he had successfully campaigned for the facility to receive a new name, Rowhill School, to reflect its new home in the town.

The school will provide 92 places for pupils in years 7 to 11 as well as over-16s who are "unable to access the curriculum in a more mainstream school setting".

The former home of the Linden Education Centre in Farnborough was said to be 'no longer fit for purpose'
The former home of the Linden Education Centre in Farnborough was said to be 'no longer fit for purpose'

This could be due to exclusion from an existing school, referral for emotional or behavioural issues, or through their GP or local mental health services.

Its role is to help pupils re-integrate into a mainstream school or otherwise prepare them for adult life.

“I’m very pleased with progress on Rowhill School,” Cllr Choudhary said on visiting the site.

“It’s great news for children who are disadvantaged and will be better off here.

“The objective is to give them a good standard of education and improve their prospects.

“This project also protects a locally important building from development.”

When the move was announced in 2015, Councillor Peter Edgar, HCC’s executive member for education, said it was urgently needed to secure the future of the LEC.

“The current site and buildings are no longer fit for purpose and there is no capacity for the necessary refurbishment to meet the needs of these children," he said at the time.

Cllr Edgar said the York Road building would be "carefully extended" to complement its Victorian character, while there would be "significant" internal remodelling.

The county council has given the former LEC site back to South Farnborough Infant School, to relieve pressure on admissions.