School’s bid to flick switch will help buy new gadgets

Edward Scissorhands and Sweeney Todd director Tim Burton flicked the switch on the Illuminations  this year

Edward Scissorhands and Sweeney Todd director Tim Burton flicked the switch on the Illuminations this year

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One lucky raffle winner will get to follow in the footsteps of Hollywood director Tim Burton this weekend.

As part of its work to raise £100,000 for new equipment, Highfurlong School in Blackpool is being allowed to switch on the Illuminations from the Comedy Carpet on Friday night.

This funding provides the building but not the essential resources

And the school, which will move into its new premises in Blackpool Old Road later this year, is offering residents the chance to flick the switch alongside one of its students.

Deputy headteacher Joanne Martin said: “We were fortunate to have been chosen as one of the first schools to be rebuilt through the Government’s Priority Schools Building programme.

“This funding provides the building but unfortunately does not include the essential resources required in a 21st century school.

“We would love to move into the school with new computers, furniture, play equipment, an outdoor play area, sensory room, and a sound and lighting system to support learning in our new hydrotherapy pool, but we will have to fund this ourselves.”

The school, which caters for youngsters with special needs and disabilities, has already raised £38,000 through various events and also have sponsors lined up for equipment in specialised rooms.

The chance to turn on the Lights has been offered by Blackpool business Assessment Design and Development, based at the Enterprise Centre in Lytham Road, South Shore.

The firm’s managing director Peter Bennett won the special switch-on at a recent charity auction held at the Friends of the Illuminations ball.

He donated it to Highfurlong after his elderly aunt - its intended recipient - became too ill to attend the Switch-On and his PA Brogan Tythe-McCallum told him of the school’s ongoing fund-raising work.

Mr Bennett said: “I felt it’s a local organisation who are doing so much good for the community and it’s at a stage where they need to raise funds.”

To buy a ticket, which cost £1 each, pop into the school’s office.

The winning tickets will be drawn on Thursday lunchtime.

The Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) is designed to help the schools most in need of urgent repair.

Through the programme, 260 schools will be rebuilt or have their condition needs met by Education Funding Agency (EFA), the government said, with the first school opened in May 2014.

There were 261 successful applications for the PSBP out of 580 eligible applications.

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