Sturgeon announces cash for new schools during Peterhead visit

The First Minister paid a visit to Peterhead Academy which is set to benefit from the funding
The First Minister paid a visit to Peterhead Academy which is set to benefit from the funding

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was in Peterhead today where she announced the first phase of a nationwide £1 billion investment programme for schools.

Ms Sturgeon paid a visit to Peterhead Academy which is set to benefit from the funding, with a new Peterhead Community Campus, including replacements for Dales Park and Meethill primary schools, Peterhead Academy and Anna Ritchie School.

The Scottish Government will contribute funding of between £220 million and £275 million in partnership with local authorities across the country to replace 26 schools, with a further phase of investment to be announced within 12 months.

Buchan councillors agreed earlier this year that the site of the new facility will be at Kinmundy.

Commenting on the funding, Ms Sturgeon said: “The additional £1 billion investment will benefit around 50,000 pupils across Scotland, with the first phase set to upgrade and modernise schools across 11 of our local authority areas.

“The investment builds on the progress that we have made over the last ten years.

“Modern, state-of-the-art buildings can make a real difference to the lives ofr pupils, teachers and parents, as well as the wider communities they serve.
“This investment continues our efforts to improve the condition of our entire learning estate, from early years through to schools and colleges.”

Commenting on the announcement, Cllr Gillian Owen Scottish Conservative Education & Children Services Spokesman said: “£71m has been
allocated for this project in the council’s Capital Plan.

“Delivering a new school for Peterhead was one of the first acts of this Conservative-led administration on taking back control of the council after the 2017 elections.

“This is a massive commitment on behalf of this council, and we have been working with officers and the Scottish Future Trusts to ensure that if any monies are available that we should be ready as current funding identified would not provide the whole programme.”

She continued: “This is a unique project which will meet the needs of Peterhead and the surrounding communities for many years to come.

“The announcement today is extremely welcome and having met with Mr Swinney in February we had an informative discussion and he has been very supportive which backs up today' outcome"

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson also welcomed the announcement stating: “I’m delighted the Scottish Government have responded positively to the very strong case made by my councillor colleagues and others that Peterhead needs new secondary school provision.

"While there have been calls for many years for a replacement for the ageing Peterhead Academy, it wasn’t until the SNP took over the running of Aberdeenshire Council with our Labour colleagues in 2015-17 that this started to become a priority.

“Today’s announcement is very good news for Peterhead and I look forward to the project progressing.”