Trio of schools up for windfall

Shevington High School

Shevington High School

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THREE Wigan borough schools are a step closer to getting major overhauls.

Wigan Council has placed bids in to the £2bn Priority School Building Programme for Shevington High School, Leigh CE Juniors and Golborne High on account of their premises’ being in a particularly poor state.

If successful the cash will enable the schools to completely re-build parts of their schools which are dilapidated and unfit for purpose.

The council has outlined in detail to the Department for Education the conditions at the schools in question and what is needed to bring them up to standard.

Local authorities, academies and school trusts were able to bid for the funding which opened for bids in the summer.

The Government is expected to respond to the bids by the end of the year and state how much funding, if any, the schools will receive out of the pot.

Only last week Leigh MP Andy Burnham had a meeting with education minister David Laws to press a special case for Golborne High which, under the ambitious Building Schools for the Future project under the last Labour government, was to have been merged with Lowton.

Under the same programme, dropped by the Coalition after the recession hit, there was also talk of a Standish-Shevington super-school on a new site.

That is no longer on the cards but the chances of Shevington’s premises getting a substantial make-over have now gone up.

Coun Jo Platt, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Wigan Council, said: “The three schools we have placed expressions of interest in to the Priority School Building Programme are in desperate need of funding.

“All children in Wigan borough deserve to be educated in the very best surroundings that are fit for the 21st century. We hope that the Government respond positively to our expressions of interest and we can improve the conditions of these schools for generations to come.”

In April this year Wigan Council pledged to spend £38m on education improvements over the next three years. This funding will pay for extra school spaces to accommodate the borough’s booming birth-rate.

PSBP funding is already benefitting Wigan as The Deanery High School has announced a £15m refurbishment including a state-of-the-art new building and improved sports facilities.