A SPECIALIST unit for children with autism is to be built at a borough secondary school.

The £535,000 facility will be based at Rivington and Blackrod High School and accommodate children will who move up from the primary school system over the coming years.

There is specialist autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) provision at Blackrod Church Primary School and St Teresa’s Primary School, in Little Lever, which can take up to six children at one time.

But more secondary school spaces will be needed to complement the 12-pupil capacity facility at Bolton St Catherine’s CE Academy.

It is understood the new unit’s intake will come mainly from Blackrod Church Primary School.

Bolton Council’s children’s chief Cllr Ann Cunliffe said she had “no hesitation at all” in releasing the funds for the centre, which will have a capacity of five pupils per year — 25 in total.

She said: “I commend the work that’s going on in our ASD provision, it’s especially good for the church school to know we have that in the area. I’m really pleased, it’s a fantastic facility that ‘s going to be there.”