More money granted for Brighton and Hove school building works

Posted On 11 Mar 2013 at 6:55 pm

Brighton and Hove schools will receive more money from the government in the coming year to fund major building projects.

Up to £12 million will be spent on structural maintenance, carrying out urgent repairs and catering for rising pupil numbers.

The government announced the grant totals on Friday 1 March, the day after Brighton and Hove City Council set its budget for 2013-14.

A report to the council’s Children and Young People Committee said: “The overall level of capital funding available for expenditure on school buildings from the government has increased from last year when comparing with the main allocations.

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“Funding is now allocated under three headings only.

  • Structural maintenance, under which £920,000 is available for schools and other educational establishments
  • Capital maintenance grant, under which £3,107,784 is available for expenditure on improving the condition of the school estate
  • Basic need funding, under which £7,921,299 in total is available for expenditure on providing additional pupil places for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 financial years

“In addition to this a further £1 million has been included within the capital strategy to assist with new pupil places.”

The £920,000 structural maintenance pot will be used to “address the most urgent and important items highlighted by the condition surveys of school buildings”.

The capital maintenance grant includes £300,000 to be spent dealing with asbestos and legionella.

The report to councillors said: “Legislation on both the control of legionella and asbestos in buildings has given rise to the need to carry out works on a rolling programme to school buildings to achieve compliance with the new legislation.”

A further £150,000 will go towards work identified by fire risk assessments and another £150,000 will fund improved ventilation in school kitchens.

The report said that there was a backlog of £30 million of “condition-related works” in schools.

The council will add £1.7 million from the capital maintenance grant to the £920,000 structural maintenance funding to address this.

The £2.6 million total will fund the most urgent work to prevent school buildings having to close because they breached health and safety or other laws.

The £8 million allocated to cater for the growing number of pupils includes £2.1 million for work at Aldrington CE Primary School over the next two years.

And £1 million will be allocated to refurbish buildings at the rear of the Connaught Infant School site. The school, which is run as an annex of West Hove Infant School, is likely to need to expand by September next year.

In addition £2.4 million was set aside to convert Hove Police Station in Holland Road into a primary school over the coming two years.

The council has not yet finalised the purchase of the premises from Sussex Police but negotiations are under way.

In Portslade £1.75 million will go towards changes at St Peter’s Community Infant School, St Nicolas Church of England Junior School and Portslade Infant School.

These are intended to cater for the growing number of primary school age children living in Portslade.

 

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