UNIVERSITY of Chester Academy Northwich (UCAN) students and Northwich primary school pupils joining forces to help shape the future of the high school after a devastating fire earlier this year.

The blaze in February this year caused a substantial amount of damage to a number of the buildings at UCAN.

Classrooms and offices, the school library, conference suite, the new hall and main reception were seriously damaged.

Since the fire, specialist cleaning has been completed in rooms less affected to make them accessible and damaged assets have been replaced.

Year 11 students were welcomed back just one day after the fire initially broke out and Year 10 students just two days after the incident. All students resumed normal timetable lessons only five days after the fire took place.

Cath Green, principal at UCAN, said: “We are pleased that we have been able to retain the façade of the building, which is steeped in tradition for the school.

"We are currently out to tender for the next five weeks to find a contractor who can restore and future proof the buildings which were structurally damaged during the fire.

“Once a contractor has been confirmed, we will start the exciting part of the build, which is the design phase.

"At this point we will be including our UCAN students and pupils from our primary schools to help shape what the inside of the buildings will look like as we move forward.”