Councillors updated on schools for the future

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Published Date: 

31 May 2011 - 09:41

Argyll and Bute councillors will be updated this week on progress regarding two key proposed school building projects.

The authority is planning to build a new Dunoon Joint Primary Campus and a new Campbeltown Grammar School under the Scottish Government’s ‘Scotland’s Schools for the Future’ programme.

A report will go before the authority’s Executive on Thursday (June 2) following receipt of a letter from the Scottish Government regarding key conditions and guidance for local authorities in relation to its share of the funding for any school projects.

These conditions and guidance require to be complied with in full in order to be eligible to receive revenue support from the Scottish Government for any particular project.

Both of Argyll and Bute’s projects are currently progressing through a business case process.

The outline business case for the Dunoon pre 5 and joint primary campus proposal – which would amalgamate the town’s Dunoon, Kirn and St Mun’s primaries - was approved in February this year.

That document recommends the current Kirn Primary site as the preferred location for the new school, which members agreed following an option appraisal exercise. Other sites considered included both Dunoon and St Mun’s primaries, the former gasworks in Argyll Street and Spence Court.

Councillor Bruce Marshall, chair of the Bute and Cowal area committee, said: “This is a project which I believe represents an exciting long term solution to the significant challenges currently posed by Dunoon’s deteriorating primary school buildings.

“Consultation has already taken place with key stakeholders, and work is ongoing to develop the educational and architectural briefs.

“I very much look forward to continuing to work with the Scottish Government, the people of Dunoon and the surrounding area and our other partners to move these proposals forward over the next few months.”

The council has allocated funding to allow the development of a full business case for the joint campus proposal, and work will start shortly on the pre-application planning process to allow an initial planning application to be made.

The council aims to have the new school completed by autumn 2015.

The Campbeltown project has had its initial business case approved, and an outline business case is currently being developed.

Support from the Government’s Architecture and Design Scotland (ADS) arm has been agreed in order to move forward with plans for consultation exercises in relation to both the educational and architectural briefs.

As announced last week, ADS is currently involved in refurbishing a small area of Campbeltown Grammar as part of a trial national project which could see future schools designed in a new way which would complement the Curriculum for Excellence.

The work, which is expected to be completed in October, will see a number of classroom areas combined to form a large multi-purpose teaching space.