Almost half a million pounds has been raised to fund two ambitious art projects at a Highbury primary school, to be completed this academic year.
Work on a community art block is under way at Drayton Park school where £480,000 has so far been raised.
“The school is really constrained by lack of space. There are specialist rooms for IT and music, but not for art,” said Andrew Myer, a community governor at the school.
“The art they produce is amazing – they have a really inspirational teacher,” he added.
Staff hope the new block will allow more space for their award-winning teaching.
Although the school is still £50,000 short of its overall target, the art block is currently expected to be completed by February.
The school has received generous donations from charities, local businesses and individuals in the five years since the project was first conceived.
As well as providing more space for teaching, the two-room building will serve the local community by providing a space for artists and amateurs alike.
£25,000 of the funds raised will go towards restoring an historic lifeboat, which has been a focal point of the school’s playground for more than 20 years.
The unusual play structure is a retired lifeboat that saved 84 lives while in service with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
“It’s always covered with kids – it’s brilliant for the imagination because it’s something real they can play in,” Mr Myer said.
The lifeboat, which usually sits surrounded by a wave-shaped timber structure, was removed in August when construction work began.