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School Scoops 50,000 Lottery Grant
21 Nov 2006

Pupils at an inner-city primary school are jumping for joy after scooping a 50,000 lottery grant to transform wasteground into a new sports facility.

Copthorne Primary School in Great Horton won the cash after going head to head with community associations all over Yorkshire in a public vote.

Children at Copthorne have very limited space to use at playtime and for PE lessons after the school expanded its building a few years ago.

To improve things for the pupils, they launched a bid to build a new sports facility on a dilapidated plot of land next to the school building, which is currently a haven for drug users, flytippers and anti-social behaviour.

The bid for the new sports ground found favour with Big Lottery Fund which shortlisted the school for the grant alongside seven other rival Yorkshire schemes.

Each then pitched their idea to the public on ITV's Calendar programme and viewers phoned in to vote for their favourite.

The cash will help provide a top-class multi-use games area which will be available for use for pupils at the school and from the surrounding community.

Naila Zaffar, headteacher at Copthorne, said that staff, parents and pupils were all over the moon at the news.

She said: "During term time until 3pm the play area will be used by pupils at the school. The rest of the time it will be available to the community.

"It is not just the pupils who do not have anywhere to play, children living in the area do not have anywhere either so its good news for them too.

"All of the pupils cheered when the news came through. We now hope to get coaches in to teach them things like football and cricket."

She thanked the viewers who voted.

The bid for the Big Lottery grant was run jointly by the school and Copthorne Association, who marshalled the area into voting en masse for the bid.

Messages enticing people to vote were even shown on the big screen in Centenary Square.

The total cost will run to 75,000, 25,000 of which has been raised by the school itself. The new play facility is expected to be open by February next year.

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