Schools in line for £8m improvements


- Credit: Archant

A RAFT of improvements look set to be made to school buildings across the district over the coming year.

North Somerset Council is due to spend some £8million in the 2014/15 financial year to bring facilities up to standard and also create more pupil places.

The authority’s executive committee approveed the budget, much of which is covered by Government grants, at a meeting yesterday (Tues).

About £729,000 is needed to upgrade kitchen equipment across the district after the Government announced all infant-aged pupils will receive free school meals from September.

A significant amount also needs to be spent on at least seven schools where, as well as equipment upgrades, there is a need for substantial building updates to meet the requirements.

These include Yatton Federated Schools, St Peter’s Primary School in Portishead, Mary Elton Primary School in Clevedon and Grove and Hannah More junior and infants schools in Nailsea.

The council has also set aside an extra £300,000 for building work at Grove and Hannah More.

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Currently, the kitchen in the junior school building serves lunches for both, meaning meals have to be transported outside to get to the infant school. Proposals to create a link building are now being considered by both schools.

Portishead Primary School will also see £600,000 spent on improving its hall and kitchen to enable it to meet the new infant meal standards.

As part of its 2014/15 budget, the council is also looking to spend £1.5million on creating an extra 105 places at St Nicholas Chantry Primary School in Clevedon. This would allow an additional 15 pupils to be allocated places each year from 2015/16.

A consultation on the proposals to expand the school will be held in the near future and it is not yet known what work will be carried out as a result.

A total of £150,000 has also been set aside to provide emergency extra places in the Portishead and Pill area if required.

Also, as part of its maintenance programme, rewiring will be carried out at High Down infants and junior schools in Down Road and a new boiler will be installed at Wrington Primary School.