Schools in line for major cash boost
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.”
run down: West Town Primary School in Williamson Avenue, Peterborough. (METP-30-06-11RH104)