Schools in line for ma­jor cash boost

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By BEN TRUSLOVE ben.truslove@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co @Et­ben­truslove

MIL­LIONS of pounds will be spent on re­vamp­ing two schools in Peter­bor­ough af­ter they won a grant from the Gov­ern­ment.

West Town Pri­mary School, in Wil­liamson Av­enue, and St John’s Church School, in Rise­holme, Or­ton Gold­hay, have been picked by the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion to re­ceive cash for much needed im­prove­ment works.

It could see about £4 mil­lion ploughed into re­build­ing or re­fur­bish­ing both schools and may pro­vide more pupil places.

The schools com­peted against 587 other schools na­tion­ally for the money with only 261 ap­pli­cants be­ing suc­cess­ful.

Jonathan Lewis, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of chil­dren’s ser­vices at Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, said: “It is fan­tas­tic news. We weren’t par­tic­u­larly hopeful but we are very pleased.

“We’ve not been told what it’s worth yet but we will be get­ting the de­tail soon. They are both very run­down and in need of work.

“It was our in­ten­tion to do work on them both so this will come as a sav­ing to the coun­cil tax­payer.”

The coun­cil hopes to in­crease the size of both schools and add an­other 100 pri­mary school places to the num­ber of­fered in the city.

While the de­tails of the deal from the Gov­ern­ment have not yet been re­leased it will in­clude some sort of Pri­vate Fi­nance Ini­tia­tive (PFI). The orig­i­nal bid was for £2.3 mil­lion for West Town and £2 mil­lion for St John’s.

Nikki Cherry, head­teacher at West Town, said: “We are very pleased West Town School has been cho­sen to be part of the Pri­or­ity School Build­ing Pro­gramme.

“To be one of only 261 schools across the coun­try gives a good in­di­ca­tion of how sig­nif­i­cant the need is for a school build­ing that is for pur­pose.

“The chil­dren at West Town long to have enough space to learn and play in­side and out – they would love to have grass at their school.”

Peter­bor­ough MP Ste­wart Jack­son said: “I’m very pleased the Sec­re­tary of State has recog­nised the im­por­tance of new build­ings fund­ing at West Town Pri­mary School af­ter cam­paigns by city coun­cil­lors and the lo­cal ed­u­ca­tion au­thor­ity. It is much needed and will be well spent.”

North West Cam­bridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara said: “This is ex­cel­lent news for St John’s. The money will be well spent and will en­sure that lo­cal chil­dren have the qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion which they rightly de­serve.”

Picture: BEN DAVIS

Picture: ROW­LAND HOB­SON

run down: West Town Pri­mary School in Wil­liamson Av­enue, Peter­bor­ough. (METP-30-06-11RH104)

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