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4 February 2011, 12:59
School building and maintenance projects totalling £175m over a four year period have been recommended to Hampshire County Council's Cabinet.
At his decision day Councillor Roy Perry, the County Council's Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Children's Services, approved the submission of a four year plan of capital building investment works to Cabinet which will asked to recommend the plan to Full Council for approval as part of the Council's overall capital programme.
Included in the programme of works are allocations of funding for:
* New primary schools at Andover and Waterlooville
* Improvements and modernisation of primary, secondary, and special schools across the county
* Improvements and modernisation of Special Educational Needs accommodation; education centres, and other Children's services establishments including Children's Homes
* Furniture, equipment, ICT and other upgrades at schools across the county
Immediate investment opportunities include:
* £10m for major repairs and refurbishment at Park Community School in Havant - a matching contribution from the Council's Policy and Resources capital repairs programme will be made over this and future years as this is the highest building condition priority for the Council.
* Around £9m for improvement works at Havant Academy
* Improvements to Education Centres with some £11.5m earmarked to be spent over the next four years starting with the Quayside Centre in Gosport
* £2.5m for improvements to support the federation of Siskin Infant and Junior Schools in Gosport. using the existing buildings.
* £400,000 for the re-location of Keepsake Children's Centre in Portchester to a new community centre which is a joint project between Hampshire County Council and Fareham Borough Council.
* £500,000 access improvements to a number of schools across the county
* £645,000 for the relocation of Samuel Cody MLD school in Farnborough to the Oak Farm school site.
Commenting Councillor Roy Perry said: "I am pleased that the local authority's overall capital funding settlement from the Government was higher than we expected. At a time when the overall capital investment in our schools is inevitably shrinking, it is important for the local authority to have a role in the strategic distribution of the resources that remain. Hampshire has very significant needs for future investment in its school buildings to fund major repairs and modernisation and to provide new school places in areas of population growth. The awarding of £175m over the next four years will enable us to continue this much needed investment programme. And I am happy to recommend the proposals outlined in the Children's Services Capital programme to Cabinet.
While much emphasis is rightly put on the quality of teaching in our schools and the contribution of the expertise, high quality and dedication of teachers and other support staff makes to the attainment of pupils and their enjoyments of learning opportunities at school, the environment in which they learn is also very important. High quality surroundings also play their part in contributing to children's enjoyment and achievement at school.
The programme of works outlined in the four year capital programme represent a significant investment in education and children's services in Hampshire and will benefit pupils, staff and the wider community. We know that Government policy on Children's Services capital is under review for 2012/13 onwards, but I am confident that we will be able to demonstrate Hampshire's need for continued investment."