TATTON MP George Osborne returned to Knutsford Academy to officially open Studio at Knutsford on Friday, one year on from breaking ground on the site.

Mr Osborne has worked closely with the school, notably former headteacher Kevin Hollins, and the Department for Education to get the project off the ground.

Along with dignitaries, business partners and educational leaders, he was invited to take a tour of the now completed studio school and speak to the school’s first intake of students.

Mr Osborne said: “We have put an enormous effort into this project and I am delighted that it has paid off. This revolutionary new school will offer fantastic opportunities to students in our area.”

The Studio at Knutsford at Knutsford Academy specialises in digital technologies and employability skills.

As well as GCSE’s, A-levels and professional qualifications, the studio school offers a more practical way of learning for pupils aged 14 to 19.

The new building opened to students in September 2014, and, at the age of 14 and 16, pupils are now able to opt for the college or Studio pathway.

The studio school is linked with major employers, including Barclays, The BBC and Manchester Airport, as well as a range of companies in Knutsford and Cheshire.

They provide support in a number of ways including providing work placements, inputting into curriculum development and designing project briefs.

Harvey Nichols is one such business partner and the Guardian spoke to Manchester’s store manager, Iain MacKenzie, at Friday’s event.

In the short number of months the school has been open, students have completed work experience at the city centre store and have worked on and had input into a number of design projects.

Iain said: “The world of work is a tough place and anything that can give the future of our country some help should be invested in. The studio school really does that.

“The studio school offers so many levels of opportunity to students and allows them to really shape their future careers.

“The partnership also benefits my creative team and helps them to focus – it’s good for them to have a different perspective and an opportunity to impart their passion for the retail industry to the next generation.

“It’s a great and we want it to continue.”