More details have emerged about a huge funding boost of £8.58million which has been secured to create a new school in Ilfracombe and improve the Link Road in Barnstaple.

North Devon Council was successful in February this year in bidding for £6.5m from the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to provide a new primary school in Ilfracombe, in advance of the 750 home Southern Extension.

It also secured just over £2m for a new A361 roundabout to access the 820 home Westacott urban extension in Barnstaple.

The aim of the HIF is for local authorities to apply for funding that will unlock and accelerate new homes in areas of housing demand where developments might be marginally viable.

In the case of both schemes, the money would be given to the developer – or Devon County Council (DCC) for Westacott – to develop the infrastructure, but paid back as part of the planning agreement and then earmarked for affordable housing projects or infrastructure down the line.

Councillors on the NDC executive will hear an update on the bids at its meeting on Monday and find out what has been happening since the funding were approved earlier this year.

NDC leader Des Brailey said the council was working with DCC to deliver the Ilfracombe school building, with the aim of it being up and running by 2021, in parallel with the first new housing on the site.

Homes England, which manages the scheme, has approved the funding and it is believed providing the school up front will give developers the confidence to move the development forward.

Mr Brailey said: “We are over the moon that we have been able to help facilitate this and we are very happy to be able to have the housing built in Ilfracombe.

“I am sure the Southern Extension will make a massive difference to the economy of the area.”

The £2m access roundabout to Westacott is on the A361 and will be directly involved with the North Devon Link Road upgrade.

The aim is to work with the Link Road plans to ensure the timings fit with each other.

Both HIF awards are subject to various conditions and the legal exchange of the grant agreement must be made by December 31 otherwise there is a chance the offer could be withdrawn.