Council to invest in improving facilities at three Highland primary schools

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Highland Council is to spend more than £4.5m on three Highland schools to improve their facilities.

Beauly, Dunvegan and Kiltearn primaries will also benefit from Scottish Government money allocated to the expansion of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC).

The funds will be invested in a new build for nursery, kitchen, dining, games hall and ancillary accommodation, along with the demolition of some poor quality buildings for both Beauly and Dunvegan.

The council says this approach will make the best use of the ELC funding available at this time and will also see the demolition of buildings at each school that are among the poorest in Highland, and where major concerns exist about their condition and fitness for purpose.

It is planned to extend the school building at Kiltearn to provide additional nursery accommodation, and partially refurbish it to bring it up to at least a B rating for both condition and suitability.

Eleven schools have been agreed as priorities for investment, including Tain 3-18 campus; Nairn and Fortrose secondary schools; schools in Invergordon; Beauly, Broadford, Dunvegan and Tarradale primaries; St. Clements school and primaries in Alness and Kiltearn.

The council said it recognises that funding for these priorities will be a challenge.

Budget leader councillor Alister Mackinnon said: “The council’s capital planning now assumes £50million of capital over five years to support the eleven specific school priorities we have identified.

“It is based on £25m of council funding plus an assumed successful bid to Scottish Government for a further £25m, when this process opens later this year.

“However, £50million would not be sufficient to address the capital investment required for all 11 schools. We appreciate that communities want the best possible schools and are doing everything we possibly can to be bid-ready to make the funding case for these schools.”