Funding from a multi-million pound government programme will be used to build a new “green” school in Aberdeen.
Aberdeen City Council has successfully applied to the Learning Estate Investment Programme (LEIP) which supports the building of new schools or refurbishment of old buildings.
Its portion will be used to build a new Hazlehead Academy which will become the first green school in the city.
The third phase of funding, from the Scottish Government and Cosla, is worth between £450 and £500 million and has been awarded across 10 local authorities, including Aberdeen, Moray, Orkney and Shetland.
These school projects are all expected to be completed by 2027.
Martin Greig, convener of Aberdeen City Council’s education committee, said: “I am delighted with this decision. A new Hazlehead Academy is a real priority.
“The additional support will help us make a positive difference for generations to come. We want the best possible school buildings for young people across Aberdeen.”
Building a ‘green’ Hazlehead Academy
SNP councillor for Hazlehead, John Cooke, previously said creating a green school in Aberdeen would make it a “better place to grow up”.
Using Passivhaus Standard energy efficiency when building means energy consumption can be reduced by up to 90% while minimising carbon emissions.
He added: “The new green academy, the first of its kind in Aberdeen, will be an investment in our future – in the facilities that children will learn in and in the environment that they will grow up in.
“I am proud that the SNP has taken another step toward delivering this commitment, and to making Aberdeen a better place to grow up.”
Schools benefiting across the north
The £2billion LEIP follows on from Scotland’s Schools for the Future Programme which delivered 117 new or refurbished learning facilities across the country from 2009 to 2021.
Alongside Hazlehead Academy, nine other schools in Scotland will benefit from the third phase of funding.
These include Forres Academy in Moray, Kirkwall ASN Centre in Orkney, Brae Campus in Shetland and Mill Campus in Argyll and Bute.
Moray Council initially put forward a bid for both Forres Academy and Buckie High School.
While a replacement for Buckie High School hasn’t been successful on this occasion, the council has reassured that it will progress the work surrounding the project.
Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth said: “I am determined to deliver excellence and equity across Scotland’s schools, and ensuring that pupils are educated in modern, state of the art facilities is an important part of that.
“As a direct result of Scottish Government investment, the proportion of schools in ‘good’ or ‘satisfactory’ condition has increased from 61% in April 2007 to 90.7% in April 2023 and this investment will build on this remarkable progress.
“We will continue working with Cosla to explore how we can deliver further improvements in the school estate, as well as ensuring provision in those areas experiencing population growth.”