PUPILS at a Mirfield school are celebrating today after receiving an early Christmas present of almost £600,000.
The £580,000 windfall will be used to help build a therapy centre.
Youngsters at Holly Bank School, which educates pupils with multiple and profound physical disabilities, are to benefit from state-of-the-art facilities when its £1.5m activity centre opens next December.
The centre, to be built at the existing school site on Far Common Road, Roe Head, will incorporate a music and light sensory pool, a jacuzzi, a trampolining area and a computerised horse to help pupils improve their balance, co-ordination and muscle tone.
School principal Steven Hughes said: "It is unbelievable, a fantastic Christmas present.
"It is going to be a super thing and it will not just be for youngsters at Holly Bank either.
"People from homes for adults have been asking if they can send people, so it will be for all the community," he added.
"It will be smashing all round."
Fundraising for the project, which will be the only one of its kind in the region, started nine months ago.
But, in that time, the Holly Bank Trust, which manages the school, has raised most of the cash needed to get the centre under way.
Mr Hughes went on: "It is unbelieveable we have done this in just nine months, but we have received a lot of support.
"We have managed to raise £1.25m and have requests in for another £300,000 from other trusts."
The £580,000 grant - from Sport England and The Big Lottery Fund - has been the biggest cash boost to date.
Other charitable trusts, including one in Hong Kong and two in London, have also granted cash for the scheme. David Gent, regional director of Sport England, said: "We are delighted to support the Holly Bank Trust.
"It is a superb project that will make a very real difference for the pupils and staff at Holly Bank School and for Yorkshire residents with disabilities.
"We are confident this centre will enable the users of the facilities at Holly Bank to enjoy more sport and exercise."
Work is due to begin in March and is expected to carry on until December.
* A 10 x 5 square metre hydrotherapy and sensory pool featuring 18 light and music settings - using a poolside control panel - to be used by therapists to work with students on a one-to-one basis.
* A jacuzzi-spa pool to enable youngsters to have fun splashing around.
* A gym area incorporating a trampoline for rebound therapy.
* A computerised horse to enhance balance and co-ordination and prepare students for riding a live horse.
* Holly Bank School was founded in Lindley in 1954, to provide education for severely disabled children.
* It has just celebrated its 50th anniversary.
* In 1990 the school moved to Mirfield after outgrowing its original site.
* The Holly Bank Trust was formed in 1994 to manage the school.
* Today the trust teaches adults and children and offers lifelong residential places at school or in community housing.