New investment in school buildings

The Scottish GovernmentThe first wave of schools to benefit from the expanded Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme has been announced by Learning Minister Alasdair Allan.

A further £330 million funding, confirmed yesterday by Finance Secretary John Swinney, brings the total investment for the programme between the Scottish Government and local authorities to £1.8 billion.

The first 13 local authorities to receive funding to allow them to either rebuild or refurbish some of the poorest condition schools in their estate, was announced by the Minister for Learning at Waid Academy in Fife, one of the schools which will be replaced.

Dr Allan said:“The Scottish Government places a huge emphasis on high quality learning and is committed to delivering high quality, well designed, sustainable schools through the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme. The additional funding is testament to this aim.

“We originally aimed to build or refurbish 55 schools across Scotland and we have already exceeded this by funding 67 projects. This extra funding will now allow us to almost double our original target.

“The new facilities being built are fantastic environments for our young people to learn in and often provide amenities for the wider community that will be enjoyed by generations to come.

“The projects are also a welcome boost to the local economy, creating apprenticeship opportunities for young people and construction jobs across the country.”

Gemma Boggs, schools programme director at Scottish Futures Trust, said:“We are delighted with the opportunity today’s announcement brings as it allows us to build on the huge progress we’ve made in managing the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme.”

“We are very much looking forward to working collaboratively with local authorities to achieve the very best value for the investment in their school estate. Thousands of pupils across Scotland will benefit, as will hundreds of local SMEs when construction starts.”

New £34m school gets the go-ahead

New £34m school gets the go-aheadConstruction work has started on the new James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed this week.    

The new school will be built for the City of Edinburgh Council and is expected to create 250 construction jobs and boost the building trades.

Deputy First Minister Nicole Sturgeon said: “Investment in infrastructure projects such as the new James Gillespie’s High School, not only supports jobs and apprenticeships locally, but it also helps the wider Scottish economy.”

The project involves the demolition of the existing school buildings, the construction of a new teaching block and brand new sports and performance buildings on the campus.

The £34 million-school will be part funded by the Scottish Government’s £1.25 billion Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme and will house 104 staff and 1,150 pupils.

The Grade A-listed Bruntsfield House at the centre of the campus will also undergo a major refurbishment.

Ms Sturgeon said: “In Scotland we are building many new schools, and refurbishing still more to provide an excellent learning environment for staff and pupils.

“This project is part of the Scottish Government’s £1.25 billion ‘Scotland’s Schools for the Future’ programme which will see the construction of 67 new schools and the movement of 46,000 pupils into top quality accommodation.”

The school is due to be completed by summer 2016 and is expected to support modern apprenticeships and a host of work experience opportunities.