A HIGH school has launched an ambitious bid to build an £8M sixth form centre.
The plan has been drawn up by St Christopher's CE High School in Accrington to provide facilities for A-level students in Hyndburn .
To date, A-level provision in the borough is virtually non-existent, with only Accrington and Rossendale College offering post-16 education courses.
But all that could change if the plan by St Christopher's to build the sixth form centre on land which formerly housed Moorhead High School gets the green light.
This is next to St Christopher's which is sited on Queen's Road West, Accrington.
Headteacher Alasdair Coates said: "We are hoping this will provide a range of A-level courses for around 300 students.
"Initially, it would probably offer around 40 courses and would employ about 40 staff, which would include teachers and administration staff.
"Everyone in the school community is very excited by the plans.
"At the moment around 450 A-level age students each year are having to travel out of the borough for their courses.
"This facility would fill a yawning gap which currently exists in Hyndburn."
Mr Coates said while Accrington and Rossendale College provided excellent vocational courses, it no longer taught the traditional A-level subjects that lead to university.
Although St Christopher's is a Church of England school, the sixth form would be open to teenagers from all faiths to pursue their studies.
It would feature a range of facilities including science laboratories, technology workshops, a library and a gym.
Mr Coates added that 90 per cent of the cash needed to build the complex would come from Government funding and the rest would be provided by the Church of England.
A bid for the money will be submitted soon. If successful, the college could become a reality as early as September 2008.