A GROUND-BREAKING ceremony has been held to mark the start of work on a new £12.5m school.

Maidenhill Primary, in Newton Mearns, will open in August next year, with an intake of two primary one classes and a nursery class providing 120 places.

With more than 800 properties being built by CALA Homes and Taylor Wimpey in the area in the coming years, the new school aims to help ensure that East Renfrewshire Council can meet the increased demand for primary and nursery places.

Councillor Paul O’Kane, education and equalities convener, said: “This is another exciting milestone for East Renfrewshire as we continue to invest significantly in the future of our children and young people.

“The Maidenhill Primary and early learning and childcare facility will provide the required additional places needed as families move into new homes in the area.

“Both Kirkhill and Mearns primaries already have high occupancy levels and the nurseries at Calderwood Lodge, Mearns and Hazeldene are almost at capacity.

So, as well as creating a high-quality educational facility which will deliver for our residents, we are also building for the future as people continue to move to East Renfrewshire to benefit from our fantastic schools and nurseries.”

As part of the development, the catchment areas for Kirkhill Primary and Mearns Primary have been revised to allow a third area to be established for the new school.

Council chiefs have said these changes will have no impact on transfer arrangements to the associated secondary school.

Maidenhill Primary will be associated with Mearns Castle, which has sufficient capacity to accommodate additional pupils.

Pupils who live in the new Maidenhill catchment area and are attending either Kirkhill or Mearns primaries by the end of June 2019 will have the option to transfer to the new school or remain where they are.

However, once Maidenhill Primary is open, any children in its catchment area requiring a non-denominational primary place would be enrolled at the new school.