DOZENS of schools across Scotland are to benefit from millions of pounds of extra funding, the learning minister has said.
Alasdair Allan said 13 local authorities will receive a share of a £100 million pot announced in June for school rebuilding and refurbishment projects.
A further £230 million for schools that was announced by Finance Secretary John Swinney in yesterday’s draft Budget statement will be allocated in November.
The additional funding boosts total investment in the Scottish Government’s Schools for the Future programme to £1.8 billion.
The programme was launched in 2009 with 17 new schools already open to pupils and 50 more due to open by March 2018.
Mr Allan announced the latest wave of funding allocations on a visit to Waid Academy in Anstruther, Fife - one of the schools that will be replaced.
He said: “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.”
Councillor David Ross, leader of Fife Council, said: “This investment will help us to continue with our Building Fife’s Future Programme, which has already seen two new secondary schools and two primaries built in Fife, with another three under way.
“We have very ambitious plans for Waid Academy, to create not just a school but a whole community hub which is both innovative and inspirational in design and which will serve all the communities of the East Neuk. Today’s announcement will help us realise those ambitions much faster.”
Gemma Boggs, schools programme director at Scottish Futures Trust, the body tasked with finding value for money in public sector building projects and which manages the Schools for the Future programme, said thousands of pupils across Scotland would benefit from the investment.