THERE was a star studded turnout for the official opening of a primary school's new multiple-use games area.

Top of the bill were two pupils in remission from cancer, Alfie Hutchinson and Bailey Cuthbert, who were joined by Middlesbrough striker Josh Coburn and Richmond MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak to declare the new facility at Bedale Primary School ready for use.

Josh arrived fresh from scoring a goal on his first start for the club, to see the young footballers at his old primary school being put through their paces. Accompanying him was the club's then head coach Neil Warnock.

Before the ceremony Mr Sunak talked to Alfie, aged eight, who has had treatment for a brain tumour, and former pupil Bailey, aged 11, who has just started at Bedale High School, and has undergone treatment for bone cancer.

He said: "It was inspirational to meet Alfie and Bailey with their mothers, and to see how well they are doing after their successful treatment. It was a privilege to be part of this great day at the school, to meet so many of its wonderful pupils and to help open this tremendous addition to the school’s facilities."

Headteacher Liz Turnbull said: "We aim to inspire our pupils to be the best they can be and it was wonderful to have two high-achieving individuals, role models in their very different fields, join us on this special day for the school showing our children what can be achieved through hard work and dedication.

"Physical fitness is very important and the new multiple-use games area will enable our children to take part in healthy outdoor exercise and sport whatever the weather."

The all-weather pitch has been paid for through the school’s grant funding for sport and a donation from local businessman James Proctor of WJP Software.

After the official opening ceremony, Josh, who Mrs Turnbull taught when he attended the school, stayed on to do some football practice with the pupils to see what the next generation of Bedale footballers has to offer, and was impressed by the standout goalkeeping performances by Freya and Theo.

During his visit, Mr Sunak joined the school’s council for a question and answer session, where he fielded pupils’ questions about his work and life as Chancellor and as their local MP.