A £2 million building is opening on Friday, thanks to a former pupil contributing half of the funds out of his own pocket.

Anthony Martin, a pupil at Forest School in Snaresbrook from 1948 to 1957, donated £1 million for the development of what will now be called the Martin Centre for Innovation.

Humayon Pramanik, Head of Communications at the school, said: “Anthony Martin’s amazing generosity has made this new building possible.

“It will house digital teaching and learning facilities for the whole school and much needed spaces for a range of educational activities.”

The school was able to match the £1 million donated by Mr Martin in order to raise the total £2 million needed.

It replaces a building which used to be on the site called The Manor Building, originally the housemaster’s quarters.

Fittingly, while he was a pupil, Mr Martin recalls hitting a six from the cricket field during a match and sending it through a window of The Manor Building, into the bedroom of an old geography master.

The school went onto win that match, but Martin was later called into the building to be shown the damage.

The Manor Building, built in 1944, was originally a replacement for the Old Manor Building, which was destroyed by a flying bomb during World War Two.

School warden, Sarah Kerr-Dineen, said: “The new build is a strong statement of the school’s commitment to excellence in education.

“The building will be forward looking in its use, but also a celebration of the school’s heritage. A visionary former pupil is enhancing the educational experience of his successors, now and long into the future, and this is very powerful.”