Kent

Zandra Rhodes boosts new Strood academy

Strood Academy artist's impression
Image caption Strood Academy is the first of three in Medway to see the start of building work

Fashion designer Zandra Rhodes will be turning the first sod to celebrate the beginning of building work at the first of three new academies in Medway.

The new Strood Academy buildings are going up on the playing fields of the existing school, formed after the closure of Chapter and Temple schools.

Ms Rhodes is chancellor of one of the academy's sponsors, the University for the Creative Arts (UCA).

She studied at Medway College of Art, one of the colleges that formed UCA.

The designer will be using a pink spade to match her trademark pink hair for the ceremony at Strood Academy, in Carnation Road, on Thursday.

The new buildings will include a sixth form area, sports facilities and an Inspiration Centre for creative technologies such as video, film, graphics and 3D virtual modelling.

"We feel honoured and excited to welcome Zandra Rhodes to the academy to officially mark the beginning of this exciting development," said head teacher Richard Hart.

"Her success is an inspirational example for all our pupils at the academy, making her the ideal person to celebrate this important milestone."

Strood Academy was one of three in Medway whose new buildings were halted last July when the government scrapped the England-wide Building Schools for the Future scheme.

They were told a month later that the projects could go ahead.

Work at Bishop of Rochester and Brompton Academies is expected to start later this year.

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