WORK has begun on the first secondary school to be built in Cambridgeshire for 30 years.

The £20.6million Cambourne Village College is a high spec, state-of-the-art academy scheduled to open for business in September 2013.

Located on land to the west of Cambourne, the school will accommodate students between the ages of 11 and 16 and is a direct response by the county council to accommodate a higher than national-average birth rate in the area and a further 950 homes in the settlement.

The school will be opened by Comberton Village College which, according to council officials, "has an excellent reputation for education delivery".

Pupils at both schools will follow a similar curriculum, and initially many staff will work at both schools.

A council spokesman said: "Comberton Village College has been embedded in the design process throughout and made a significant contribution to the development of the final proposals.

"The new secondary school will provide places for members of the existing Cambourne community, children currently attending the three primary schools already established within the village, and for the children of those families moving into the additional 950 new homes."

Work on a new access road to the site is currently under way, with construction expected to start in November. The design of the building is based on a Scandinavian model that involves sections of the structure and classrooms being constructed off site, by Yorkon of York, transported to Cambourne and craned into position.

Executive principal Stephen Munday, of the Comberton Village College Trust, which will run both academies, said: "We're absolutely delighted that it is now all systems go for Cambourne Village College to open in September 2013.

"This is really good news for the community and it guarantees a high-quality school of choice for all families of secondary-aged pupils in our area."

For more information on Cambourne Village College and to view admissions criteria visit www.cambournevc.org