Council bosses to seek funding for new St Aidan’s High and town hub for Wishaw

Council bosses have written to the Education Secretary in an appeal for cash to construct a new St Aidan’s High within a town hub in Wishaw.

NLC’s education convener Frank McNally has contacted John Swinney to seek funding for the hub in the town which would include a new St Aidan’s High and one other associated primary school as well as early years provision.

The facility, part of the council’s long-term plans for a Wishaw town hub, would also include wider community assets including sport and leisure, transport and partnership facilities such as spaces for police and health officials to hold drop-in clinics.

In the letter sent to Mr Swinney, Councillor McNally said: “The plan includes the creation of eight hubs, across the eight towns within North Lanarkshire, which will provide a flagship offering for our communities, centred around the learning estate.

“The recent bid we have submitted is for the first of these hubs, in Wishaw, and is expected to include St Aidan’s High School, along with an associated primary school and early years provision – all of which will enhance the quality of learning infrastructure for around 2,000 pupils.

“It is a truly ambitious proposal, built in co-production with our communities and local partners.

“The investment will assist us in tackling deprivation in the Wishaw area and will assist in providing much needed economic activity across and beyond our council area.”

Education convener Frank McNally
(Image: Daily Record)

In a report to the council’s Education and Families Committee, it states two sites in Wishaw are being considered both of which are owned by the council.

The financial cost of the project will not be known until it is understood which schools are to be included; which additional facilities are to be included and which site is to be used.

However, to satisfy bid requirements, the council was required to submit high level costs linked to the project which would be in the region of between £69 million and £73 million.

It was also confirmed within the report that if the council was unable to access the funding then the project would be unable to proceed.

In his report to elected members, NLC’s Head of Asset and Procurement Solutions James McKinstry said: “There is an opportunity to receive Scottish Government funding and it is appropriate for North Lanarkshire Council to be considered to receive funding from the Learning Estate Improvement Programme (LEIP).

“However, it should also be recognised that, should the project not be successful in attracting external funding, that the advantages linked to consideration of this project, at this time, would be significantly reduced.

“Approval of this project is tied to the ability to lever external funding, and that if this funding is not secured, there would be no desire to commit to this project at this time.”

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