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An investment plan which includes proposals of up to £54m capital funding for five Highland schools, including one at Dunvegan on Skye, is due to come before the region’s local authority at a meeting today (Thursday) for member agreement.
Significant capital funding has been identified for investment in the five schools, Dunvegan, Culloden Academy, Beauly, Park Primary Schools and St Clement’s School, to address the vast and aging school estate, roll pressures and depopulation.
Outline estimates have been prepared and more detailed work will be undertaken over the summer. The detailed designs and costings will be brought to Highland Council in September for approval for the schools which have already been identified for investment in the council’s capital plan.
Approved Phase 1 development will only partially address significant suitability and condition issues at Beauly and Dunvegan primaries.
As set out in the report to the council in June 2019, whole campus redevelopment is required with benefits accruing if the entire project is done as a single phase.
Whilst there is an estimated additional cost of around £12.5 -15m, this could reduce by as much as £2.5m if Scottish Government Gaelic funding can be secured for Dunvegan Primary School.
The school is also part of a master plan which includes housing and a sports field which should further support project costs for the school build.
Chairman of the education committee Councillor John Finlayson said good facilities and a safe learning environment were fundamental for the education of all young people across the Highlands and were a key priority for this administration.
‘This funding is excellent news for parents and pupils and everyone in these five communities. Approval of such significant investment will be the culmination of long-awaited hopes and dreams of very many people in these towns and villages and by progressing these priorities, we enable other school projects to move forward and become a reality,’ he added.
‘We will be communicating with parents to let them know of the next steps in the detailed planning process.’