The document was signed by parliamentary undersecretary of state for schools, Lord Nash, yesterday (Weds).

THE funding agreement to ensure North Devon’s first free school can open in September has been signed.

The document between the Department of Education and Route 39 was signed yesterday afternoon (Weds) by Lord Nash, parliamentary undersecretary of state for schools.

The Route 39 governors said they were ‘delighted’ to receive the letter; the final stage in the process that has taken two-and-a-half-years.

Richard Bence, chairman of governors at Route 39 Academy said: “This funding agreement represents the final commitment from the Government to ensure Route 39 Academy opens in September.

“The hard work of the volunteer governors, the principal, the Department for Education and, most importantly, the parents and supporters of Route 39 Academy have now ensured we will have a new school and real choice for local children.”

In his letter to the governors, Lord Nash wrote: “I am very grateful to you and your colleagues for the great commitment and energy that have brought you this far...Through your determination and strong desire to provide an outstanding education for young people in the area, you have overcome the obstacles...I wish everyone connected with Route 39 all the best for the future.”

This week the school announced it had secured a new premises at the former Clovelly Primary School at Higher Clovelly.

The school will open there in September temporarily whilst it secures the building of its permanent site at Steart Farm, Bucks Cross.