A CITY landmark is opening its doors for the first time as part of a multi-million pound independent girls school development.

Brighton Girls School will allow members of the public inside its temple for the first time, as part of a new community plan by the headteacher.

The Temple, commissioned in the early 19th century by Thomas Kemp, has been used to house a library and classrooms at the school.

However, ambitious plans by headteacher Rosie McColl will turn the landmark off Montpelier Road into a community hub, featuring a wellbeing café and flexible working space for local entrepreneurs to use.

The plan is part of a multi-million-pound development project which will be completed by January 2022.

Headteacher Rosie McColl, who took the school’s helm in January, said she hopes the plans will alert students to new opportunities.

She said: “My vision is that the school shares its facilities, and the ideas generated within them, with the residents of Brighton and Hove. Our site is set in the heart of the city and I am determined that Brighton Girls and the wider community fuse together.

“I want the Temple’s public spaces to be alive with the sound of educational thinking and debate, with a conversation that is diverse, inclusive and allows voices from across the city to be heard.

“By melding classroom and community, we hope that everyone benefits – pupils will be alerted to the opportunities and paths that await them and local businesses and entrepreneurs will hear the voices and ideas of the next generation.”

While the ground floor of the Temple will be used as a community space, the top floor will be redesigned as a hub for the school’s sixth formers.

The basement will also have state-of-the-art music facilities for the school’s musicians to learn and practise in.

Funded by the Girls’ Day School Trust, the project will also return pupils at Brighton Girls prep school, currently housed in Radinden Manor Road in Hove, to the main school site on Montpelier Road.

The sports fields off Radinden Manor Road will be retained for use by all pupils and by community groups.

Laura Comerford, who will join the school as its new headteacher in January, added: “This is a great opportunity for the younger girls of the school to really benefit from having role models to look up to and interact with on a daily basis.”