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School gets financial go-ahead

Published: 11 Jan 2016 00:01
Part of:
Economy

First of over £330m worth of projects to start construction.

A new school has become the first of 12 projects to reach financial close after getting the go ahead by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

The new £25m Ayr Academy in South Ayrshire, being built under the hub funding model, will now begin construction later this month.

In November, Mr Swinney gave the green light for ten new schools and two new health projects being built under the hub finance model to proceed to financial close as soon as possible – delivering an estimated capital investment value of around £330 million.

This followed a ruling by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that changes to the hub model made by Scottish Futures Trust would adhere to updated EU accounting guidelines, enabling these 12 projects to proceed.

Mr Swinney said:

"The Scottish Government has always prioritised public infrastructure projects as a critical tool for growing our economic recovery.

"This is an important milestone for Ayr Academy, and I am pleased that construction for this new state-of-the-art facility will now begin by the end of this month.

"These developments will make an enormous difference in local communities, not just from the jobs that the construction will bring, but in the health and education benefits they will provide to local people.

"Work continues on getting the remaining 11 projects to reach financial close as soon as possible, so construction can also begin."

Peter Reekie, deputy chief executive of the Scottish Future Trust (SFT) explained: "Reaching this milestone in just a few weeks since ONS confirmed its classification of SFT's amended hub structure proposals is fantastic news. It is testament to the partnership working by hub South West Scotland, South Ayrshire Council and the expert programme team at SFT that such a rapid agreement has been reached allowing Ayr Academy to start construction."

South Ayrshire Council Leader, Councillor Bill McIntosh, said: "We're delighted to have reached financial close so quickly after the new hub model was agreed. This is testament to the extensive partnership working that symbolises this exciting project and I'm delighted we can now get to work on building a fantastic new school that will transform learning and life for people and communities in Ayr."

Michael McBrearty, Chief Executive of development partner hub South West Scotland added:

"This milestone has taken months of planning between all collaborators involved in this fantastic project, but with formalities now completed we will soon be able to see the new school taking shape.

"There is no question that this development will be of great benefit to Ayr and the surrounding area and we are committed to delivering a first class facility that will have a long lasting impression on the town.

"We look forward to continue to work with South Ayrshire Council, Kier Construction, SFT and our other collaborators to deliver a school local pupils can be proud of."

Notes to editors

The project will be delivered by hub South West, which was set up by the Scottish Futures Trust to deliver major public sector building projects, with construction works being undertaken by Kier Construction.

The twelve projects given the go ahead by the Deputy First Minister in November were:

Lothian Health Centre bundle (NHS Lothian) - £25 million
Inverclyde Care Home (NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde) - £8 million
Kelso High School (Borders Council) - £20 million
Newbattle High School (Midlothian Council) - £35 million
Baldragon Academy (Dundee City Council) - £25 million
Elgin High School (Moray Council) - £25 million
Dalbeattie Learning Campus (Dumfries and Galloway Council) – £25 million
Barrhead High School (East Renfrewshire Council) - £25 million
Our Lady & St Patrick's High School (West Dunbartonshire Council) - £25 million
Ayr Academy (South Ayrshire Council) - £25 million
Campbeltown Grammar and Oban High School (Argyll and Bute Council) - £55 million
East Ayrshire Learning Campus (Kilmarnock Academy) (East Ayrshire Council) - £40 million