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Boost for construction with PM’s schools announcement

by Jennie Ward

Announcement confirms over £1bn to fund the first 50 projects of a new, ten-year school rebuilding programme, starting from 2020-21, plus £560m and £200m for repairs and upgrades to schools and FE colleges respectively this year.

The Prime Minister has announced today (29th June) that schools across England are set for a “transformative ten-year rebuilding programme.”

In a statement on the gov.uk website, it states this is the first major rebuilding programme to be launched since 2014, and schools will benefit from substantial additional investment. 

The announcement says schools and colleges will also receive funding this year to refurbish buildings in order to continue raising standards across the country.

The rebuilding programme will reportedly start in 2020-21, with the first 50 projects supported by over £1 billion in funding. Further details of the new, multi-wave ten-year construction programme will be set out at the next Spending Review.

The announcement says investment will be targeted at school buildings in the worst condition across England – including substantial investment in the North and the Midlands – as part of the Prime Minister’s plan to level up opportunity for all.

The statement confirms the Prime Minister will commit:

  • Over £1bn to fund the first 50 projects of a new, ten-year school rebuilding programme, starting from 2020-21. These projects will be confirmed in the autumn, and construction on the first sites will begin from September 2021.
  • £560m and £200m for repairs and upgrades to schools and FE colleges respectively this year.

The statement explains rebuilding projects will be greener, helping to meet the government’s net zero target, and will focus on modern construction methods to create highly skilled jobs and boost the construction sector.

Investment in schools will be prioritised on the basis of buildings’ condition and further details of the programme, including the approach to eligibility will be confirmed following the Spending Review.

The £560m for school repairs and upgrades comes on top of over £1.4bn in school condition funding already committed in 2020-21.

The £200m for FE colleges this year brings forward plans announced by the Chancellor at Spring Budget this year for £1.5bn of investment over five years to transform the FE college estate.

Government says this fast tracked activity will further support its wider plans to protect jobs and incomes and drive forward the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “All children deserve the best possible start in life – regardless of their background or where they live.

“As we bounce back from the pandemic, it’s important we lay the foundations for a country where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, with our younger generations front and centre of this mission.

“This major new investment will make sure our schools and colleges are fit for the future, with better facilities and brand new buildings so that every child gets a world-class education.”

Read the full statement here

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