Millions allocated for school places


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MORE than £8million looks set to be invested in schools across North Somerset to generate hundreds more places for primary-aged children.

Among the schools set to benefit from the cash are West Leigh Infant School in Backwell, St Peter’s Primary School in Portishead and Birdwell Primary School in Long Ashton.

At a meeting of North Somerset Council’s executive on April 16, the capital programme for 2013-14 was finalised and has been recommended for approval by the full council at its next meeting.

As well as the £8.25million which has been allocated for specific projects, a further £250,000 has also been set aside to provide emergency additional places if they are required.

If the programme is approved, at West Leigh Infant School £185,000 will be spent on creating a further 55 places at the Westfield Drive site. This will take its total up to 180 and level with the number of places at Backwell Junior School.

At Birdwell Primary School in Long Ashton, £750,000 will be invested to help the academy increase its pupil numbers by 105. It is hoped work for both these expansions will be complete in time for September 2014.

For St Peter’s Primary School, £4.27million has been set aside to create a further 210 places at the Halletts Way site by September 2014.

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A contingency measure of £200,000 has also been included in the budget to create an extra five places at St Nicholas Chantry Primary School in Highdale Avenue, Clevedon, if they are needed. Some of this money will also be used to make structural changes at the site in time for this September.

A further £50,000 will be used to complete work at Yatton Infant School to build a new staff room and create more teaching space to allow pupil numbers to increase from 225 to 270 this September.

Much of the money for these projects will be found through capital grants from the Government’s Department for Education.