Two councils go public in cash bid

30th October 2009 at 00:00
Glasgow and Inverclyde unveil bids for a share of the Scottish Government's pound;1.25bn school rebuild budget

Glasgow and Inverclyde are the first authorities to unveil their bids for a share of the Scottish Government's pound;1.25 billion financial package to rebuild or repair 55 primary and secondary schools across Scotland by 2018.

Last month, the Government named 14 secondaries which were to receive funding under the first phase of the programme. Local authorities were invited to submit details of the two primary schools in their area deemed in greatest need of renewal by the end of last week.

The Government has pledged pound;800 million, managed by the Scottish Futures Trust; local authorities are expected to provide the remainder of the funding.

Glasgow's priority primaries for new buildings are Garrowhill with its mixture of old and new annexe huts, along with Glendale, with cramped classrooms and no library, ICT suite or separate gym.

Although both are graded C ("poor" condition), it has a further five schools rated D ("bad" condition), which the council is refurbishing through separate funding.

Maureen McKenna, service director for education, makes a plea to the Government in her submission: "We do not wish our proactive approach to addressing the five primary schools in condition D to detract from the value and validity of this submission."

Inverclyde Council is proposing to bring together two existing special schools - Lilybank and Glenburn - on a shared campus in Port Glasgow to create a new all-through special school.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said the majority of councils had submitted bids by the October 23 deadline, but a few had been given a short extension.

"An announcement on the first tranche of primary schools will be made before the end of the year and, without second-guessing the process, each local authority is expected to benefit from the first phases of the school building programme," he said.

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