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Wed May 29 2024

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Tempered welcome for Scottish school building plans

27 Sep 12 The Scottish government has announced funding for an extra 12 schools to be built under the third and final phase of its Schools for the Future programme, after £80m was brought forward in last week’s budget.

“We have met every local authority’s request for priority builds and added an extra 12 schools to the programme because of the Scottish Futures Trust’s vigorous commitment to value for money,” said Scotland’s education secretary Michael Russell. “More schools are being built, and faster, but for the same level of investment as originally planned.”

Under the plans, Scotland will spend £1.25bn on 67 new schools by March 2018.

The Scottish Building Federation (SBF) welcomed the acceleration of funds but noted that the money would only start to be spent in 2014.

SBF chief executive Michael Levack said: “Of course, we welcome the commitment the finance secretary has made to bring forward £80m of funding for new schools through the Scottish government’s non-profit distribution model. But it’s worth noting that this funding has been accelerated into the 2014-15 budget so will have no impact on spending over the next financial year. Given how badly construction firms are suffering at the moment, we need to do more to get more shovels into the ground right now – not in 18 months’ time.”

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