Thursday, 28 January 2016
First Minister announces funding for new Queen Margaret Academy
Pupils at Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr will be among more than 6,500 pupils set to benefit from the construction of 19 new schools across Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed this week.
A £230 million investment, part of the final phase of the £1.8 billion 'Schools for the Future' programme, will take the overall number of schools being delivered to 112. All 19 schools will be completed by 2020.
Since the Schools for the Future programme began it has created an estimated 11,000 construction jobs and 230 apprenticeships.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this week met pupils and teachers at Queen Margaret Academy in South Ayrshire which is set to be replaced. The new building will receive a share of the funding and will include a supported learning centre for up to 50 young people with complex learning needs.
The First Minister said: "We are working hard to improve educational standards across the country to make sure that every child in Scotland has the ability to achieve their potential.
"Part of that is making sure that children have the right physical environment to learn in. This ambitious plan will replace older schools across the country with new, modern buildings that will bring benefits to the whole community.
"We had planned to build or refurbish 55 schools across Scotland, these new schools now take the total to 112 – more than double our original target. Since 2007, we have worked with local authorities to rebuild or refurbish 607 schools, resulting in the number of children educated in 'poor' or 'bad' condition schools falling by 60 per cent.
"This infrastructure investment programme has already generated an estimated 11,000 construction jobs and 230 apprenticeship placements. Now as these further developments begin construction we will see a further boost to the economy right across the country."
Councillor John McDowall, Depute Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: "We're delighted Queen Margaret Academy will join Marr College and Ayr Academy in benefiting from the Schools for the Future programme.
"The new purpose-built school will transform the learning and teaching environment for hundreds of young people, our teachers and school staff, with state-of-the-art facilities – some of which will also be available to the wider local community, including sports facilities and a lifelong learning facility.
"This will help ensure that the excellent education our young people enjoy will be matched by access to the first-class facilities they deserve, and we'll now get to work in putting the plans for the new school in motion."
Gemma Boggs, schools programme director at Scottish Futures Trust said: "Today's announcement builds on the huge progress SFT has made managing the Scotland's Schools for the Future programme.
"We are working with all local authorities to achieve the very best value for the investment in their new schools which will be of benefit to thousands of pupils across Scotland, whilst also supporting many local SMEs when construction starts."
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.