Whitehaven’s new multi-million pound academy is a step closer to reality after Copeland officers have recommended its approval.

The council’s planning panel will debate demolishing the old Whitehaven Academy and building a brand new one on the site.

The new school would meet the needs of 900 students, almost double the present role.

It will also offer a post 16 education, after entering into an agreement with Workington Academy to create a shared sixth form that will share resources and operate from both schools.

The West Coast Sixth Form will see a range of new vocational subjects being taught at the Whitehaven and Workington Academies.

These will enhance the existing courses at Workington and extend study options after GCSE

Academy headteacher Nigel Youngman said: “This is such an exciting time for the academy and a huge opportunity to really show how we want to improve the teaching and learning environment for all our students.”

Copeland council’s planning panel is due to hear the application to demolish the old school and build a new one when it meets on Tuesday.

Officers have recommended that the school, which could take up to 900 pupils, be built under certain conditions including the condition that there is no objection from Sport England, who would want ‘like for like’ sporting facilities at the end of the build.

The Cumbria Education Trust said that as the Department for Education was the applicant for the new build it would not be appropriate to comment ahead of the planning panel meeting.