WORK has started on a “first-class” education campus for looked-after children in Renfrewshire.

CrossReach, the Church of Scotland’s social care arm, has announced plans for the site in Erskine with the aim of providing a high standard of teaching for those aged eight to 16.

The campus will be made up of modular buildings that will be built off-site and craned into position in April.

Viv Dickenson, chief executive of CrossReach, broke the ground at the site in Erskine Waterfront this week to formally start building work.

She said it was an “exciting day” for Crossreach, adding: “Our staff team and their pupils are looking forward to moving into bright, modern classrooms containing all the facilities they need to make it a first-class learning environment.

“We have been delighted with the welcome already extended by the local community and look forward to building on the good relationships already in place as we develop the outdoor areas and explore ways of working together.”

CrossReach is leasing the site, opposite the Pandamonium Play Centre in Kilpatrick Drive, from Renfrewshire Council.

The organisation has been providing residential care and education for children who cannot live with their families for more than 25 years.

Over the last four years, there has been a move away from CrossReach’s large centres in Beith, Ayrshire, and Balfron, Stirlingshire, to smaller community houses clustered round a central education hub.

The existing education team and pupils from their base in Balfron will move to the Erskine site in August for the start of the new school year.

Gregor Hood, of Portakabin Scotland which is providing the buildings, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Crossreach”

He added: “Constructed entirely off-site, the modules will be delivered and craned into position in April of this year.

“This is a process which will take a matter of days, reducing much of the disruption which would normally come with a traditionally-constructed build.”