In 2006, Radio 4 was given access to a ground breaking education scheme in East Lancashire which aimed to improve GCSE results and break down divisions in an area where white and Asian families live separate, parallel lives.
Following the disturbances in Burnley in the summer of 2001, schools were identified as having a crucial role in promoting community cohesion. Lancashire County Council was given the go ahead to close 11 schools and reopen them as 8 new community colleges each with the aim of being a hub for the neighbourhood, where Asian and white families would come together and get to know each other. The last of those Â£25 million buildings are due to open in September.
Marsden Heights Community College in Nelson moved into its new facilities after Easter. Head teacher Mike Tull is excited by the opportunities that the building brings and hopes it will help engage parents in the area. But what are the challenges he faces in breaking down cultural barriers in the former mill towns of Brierfield and Nelson?
Since the scheme began his school has gone from being 60% Asian students to nearly 80% and he says many white parents choose other schools for their children because of prejudice not standards of education. Locals already describe Marsden Heights as "the Asian school". And now a charity is looking to open an Islamic girls school nearby which many say threatens to further segregate young people.
Can these new "superschools" make a difference or are racial divisions becoming more entrenched?
Producer: Sally Chesworth
Presenter: Gerry Northam.