A SIXTH form is set to benefit from a new three-storey multimedia block after getting the go ahead from councillors.

Durham County Council’s area planning committee approved the proposals for the Durham Sixth Form Centre, off Freeman’s Place and The Sands, near the city’s riverbanks.

While plans were originally approved in January for a two-storey building, councillors were asked to approve revisions including an extra floor.

As part of the development, the school’s car parks will be reshaped and upgraded – with a new car park set to be built north of the site.

This will create a total of 34 spaces on the site, from 32, including two accessible bays near the main reception building.

The sixth form centre is the largest post-16 school in the North East, with around 1,300 students on roll and an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted in its latest inspection in 2017.

An applicant statement states a charity grant would help create a TV studio in the new building alongside an editing suite, recording room, training facility and a cafe for student/ public use.

Chair of governors at the sixth form, Dennis Southwell, said the school was currently “bursting at the seams with students” with the plans aiming to boost facilities.

Speaking at Durham County Hall, he added if the plans were approved, the new block would replace two temporary buildings which are currently used by the school.

Coun David Freeman, welcoming the scheme, described the sixth form centre as a “great school” and noted there would be no impact on residential properties.