Cornwall Council has applied for funding from the government’s 'Priority Schools Building Programme' to rebuild or refurbish six schools in Cornwall, including dilapidated Helston College buildings.
Minister of State David Laws announced in May that the Government was allocating £2 billion for the second phase of the PSBP programme to fund major rebuilding and refurbishment projects to address the needs of schools in the very worst condition.
Under the programme, which runs from 2015 to 2021, local authorities, dioceses, sixth form colleges, academies, and multi academy trusts were invited to submit expressions of interest for an entire school site or for one or multiple individual buildings. 261 schools across England benefited from the first phase of the programme.
The government has set very strict criteria for applying for the PSB2 programme, with funding only available for schools which need to be either completely rebuilt or where a building needs major refurbishment works.
The council commissioned locally based architects to visit schools and carry out surveys to identify whether or not the schools met the criteria.
A council spokesman said that following "consideration of these reports and previous information on schools condition held by the council", six schools were identified as meeting the criteria for submissions for funding.
Schemes at a further seven schools were initially considered but did not meet the Government’s criteria for funding.
The council has now submitted expressions of interest for the following schools: • Helston – three schemes have been proposed – including replacing C Block, replacing C block and E Block and a whole school replacement option.
• Humphrey Davey School – replacement of Block 2 (general teaching )
• Hayle Community College – Block 1, main block / general teaching and Block 6 – general teaching and Sports Hall.
• Budehaven Community School – Science, DT and Art Block
• Treviglas Community College – replacement of 6 x double Elliot buildings to permanent accommodation.
• Biscovey Nursery and Infant Community School – main block roof replacement.
Andrew Wallis, the council's cabinet member for children and young people, said: "We are delighted the government has allocated a further £2 billion to improve the conditions of schools across England and will be working hard to ensure that schools in Cornwall benefit from this funding.
"The criteria for applying for the funding was very strict which meant that we were not able to include all the schools we initially considered but we are confident that these six schools have a very strong case. I would like to thank the council staff and the headteachers and governors from the schools for their hard work in putting together the expressions of interest which we have submitted today.
“We are hopeful that the government will look carefully at the submissions and will also be working with our MPS to secure this much needed funding.”
The council spokesman added that the total value of the works needed to be carried out at the six schools is in the region of £40 million, however any final value of schemes will be decided by the Education Funding Agency (EFA).
Should the school(s) be identified as meeting the criteria and of high enough priority by the EFA to include in the programme.
The council added that an independent bid is being put forward by Tretherras School in Newquay and, "where possible the council has provided information needed to support that bid."
A decision on the submission is expected sometime in December.