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Nine share the cash

ALMOST pound;2 billion is to be spent on refurbishing schools through the public private partnership (PPP) initiative after ministers this week topped up existing schemes with a pound;750 million package that will improve around 75 rundown buildings in nine authorities.

Fifteen councils submitted bids last December but East Lothian, the Western Isles, Falkirk, Moray and the Scottish Borders have been asked to reconsider their plans.

More fortunate is the SNP-led Clackmannanshire which has picked up pound;48 million to renovate schools through a not-for-profit scheme which was put together in only two months.

Other authorities to benefit are Aberdeen (pound;80m), Angus (pound;50m), East Dunbartonshire (pound;100m), Edinburgh (pound;180m), Midlothian (pound;50m), North Ayrshire (pound;80m), Perth and Kinross (pound;100m), and Stirling (pound;60m).

Last June, ministers announced a pound;1.2 billion package which bene-fited 15 authorities and last month dished out a further pound;110 million for basic improvements outwith the PPP programme.

Cathy Jamieson, Education Minister, said this week: "Some schools will be completely rebuilt with the latest facilities and others will be substantially refurbished. Pupils deserve to learn in modern classrooms and teachers deserve to work in well-designed, well-equipped buildings."

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