PLANS for a new primary school in Bere Regis are a step closer.

It comes after Dorset County Council’s Cabinet agreed to invest £5million in the project.

The new Bere Regis school will be the last element in the £37.2million Purbeck schools reorganisation from a three-tier to a two-tier education system.

The new school will be situated on land off Egdon Close, near Mays Wood.

It will include a reception-class base, four further classrooms, a hall, resource learning area and associated offices.

There will also be a dedicated road and footpath to access the school.

Work is expected to start early next year and will be completed in December 2015.

Chairman of governors Vikki Mayo said the school was keen to work and liaise closely with the whole village community to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from the new building and the facilities. Cllr Toni Coombs, Cabinet member for education, said: “I am delighted that the county council is now able to commit to this much-needed new school for Bere Regis. The current school is under-sized, lacking in facilities and generally no longer suitable for purpose.

“Tight budget control and challenge throughout the building programme has meant that we now have the funds to build the new school.”

Cllr Peter Wharf, local member for Egdon Heath, added: “As both the county councillor and parish councillor representing Bere Regis I am delighted to join with my fellow parish councillors in welcoming this decision.

“We are about to build a modern school of the necessary size which will serve the children of Bere Regis and the local community for generations to come.”

DCC is investing a total of £11million in new schools at Bere Regis and Christchurch.