‘We are in­vest­ing mil­lions for fu­ture’

Plans for schools and care homes

Evening Express (Extra Edition) - - NEWS - By Jen­nifer Mckier­nan po­lit­i­cal re­porter jm­ck­ier­nan@ajl.co.uk

UP TO £220 mil­lion of build­ing projects were to­day laid out by a North-east coun­cil.

Plans for new schools, care homes, re­cy­cling cen­tres and fac­to­ries have been set out by the Aberdeen­shire au­thor­ity.

The lat­est moves have seen the coun­cil open­ing the bid­ding for pri­vate firms to man­age ma­jor build­ing projects over a four-year pe­riod.

This came de­spite the coun­cil be­ing forced to axe £101m from its bud­get last year.

Aberdeen­shire Coun­cil leader Anne Robert­son, pic­tured, said she was pleased the au­thor­ity was able to keep in­vest­ing.

She said: “This is an am­bi­tious plan at a time when bud­gets are un­der real pres­sure.

“We are con­tin­u­ing to in­vest in key build­ing pro­grammes. There are a num­ber of com­mu­ni­ties that will ben­e­fit from re­newed and re­fur­bished schools across Aberdeen­shire.

“We have a good bal­ance of projects mov­ing for­ward across all ser­vices.”

The coun­cil’s cap­i­tal plan in­cludes £164.1m to be spent on new pri­mary and sec­ondary schools in the next 15 years.

From this cash, the au­thor­ity is plan­ning to spend more than £100m on new academies at Kem­nay, Al­ford, El­lon and Lau­rencekirk.

The con­tract, which is ask­ing for three to five firms to man­age the de­sign and con­struc­tion of build­ing projects, sees £39m set out for new schools to be built and ex­ist­ing schools re­fur­bished be­tween 2015 and 2025. On the so­cial work side of the plan, £27.2m is planned for three new care homes. Work on the £11.2m Blythe wo o d care vil­lage in Stone­haven is un­der

way.

Plan­ning for an £8m pro­ject at Eden­holme in Port El­phin­stone, near In­verurie, has also be­gun.

An­other new £8m care home now fea­tures in the con­tract – to be built in north Aberdeen­shire.

As well as schools and a care home, the firms which se­cure the con­tract would be re­spon­si­ble for de­liv­er­ing more than £21.2m for new land­fill sites and re­cy­cling cen­tres, coun­cil of­fices worth £17.3m and a port­fo­lio of in­dus­trial and fac­tory units worth £12.8m.

The cap­i­tal projects are funded by the cash al­lo­cated to Aberdeen­shire Coun­cil by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment.

PRO­POS­ALS: An artist’s im­pres­sion of how the new El­lon Academy – which is part of the cap­i­tal plan – could look.

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