Bumper £2.3bn building fund for schools and colleges
The Welsh Government has earmarked a further £2.3 billion to modernise education infrastructure, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams announced recently (Friday 10 November).
The money will allow the flagship 21st Century Schools and Education Programme – a major, long-term and strategic capital investment programme – to continue for a second wave of investment.
Band A of the Programme will conclude in 2019 after a £1.4bn spend over five-years. This second wave of investment, Band B, will comprise two funding streams; one using traditional capital, and one using revenue funding, via a new form of Public Private Partnership called the Mutual Investment Model (MIM).
Local Authorities and Further Education Institutions have proposed £2.3bn of projects, which meet the investment objectives of Band B of the Programme including:
- addressing growth in demand for Welsh medium education
- reductions of surplus capacity and inefficiency in the system
- expansion of schools and colleges in areas of increased demand for educational services
- address condition of educational assets
- making assets available for community use where demand exists.
The Welsh Government is committed to supporting all of these projects, subject to approval of business cases.
Speaking at the opening of Ysgol Cybi, a new 540 place Welsh medium primary school in Holyhead delivered by £9.7m of Band A funding, Kirsty Williams said:
“I am committed to raising standards, reducing the attainment gap and delivering an education system from the ground up that is a source of national pride and confidence. The 21st Century Schools and Education Programme is one of the means to achieve this ambition and represents the largest investment in our schools and colleges since the 1960s.
“The first wave of funding provided though the Programme will see investment of more than £1.4 billion over the five year period ending 2019, supporting the rebuild and refurbishment of more than 150 schools and colleges across the Wales.
“This is why I am delighted to announce a second wave of investment for the Programme, which will begin in April 2019.
“We will work closely with our partners to agree the pace of delivery and put in place investment plans that are affordable and meet our shared ambition to create sustainable learning environments that meet the needs of our communities.”
Announcements on individual Band B projects will be made in conjunction with local authorities in due course.
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