Schools in Bolton could share in £2 billion revamp fund

Bolton Town Hall

Bolton Town Hall

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , education reporter

EDUCATION bosses — who two years ago lost their battle to rebuild the borough’s most rundown schools — say they are awaiting more information on a new pot of funding to invest in buildings before deciding on their next step.

The government has £2 billion to fund the second phase of a school building and repair programme.

Bolton Council lost out on the government cash under phase one of the scheme to rebuild and repair five schools.

Westhoughton High School and Bolton Muslim Girls School bid for the cash, along with Plodder Lane Primary School in Farnworth, St Thomas CE in Halliwell and Sunning Hill Primary in Daubhill.

The news came as a second blow to the borough, which had earlier seen its ambitious £83 million Buildings Schools for the Future — which would have seen seven schools across Bolton rebuilt or remodelled — scrapped under the coalition government.

Just 44 per cent of the 587 applications nationally were successful in their application in a decision which had been delayed three times.

A number of schools in Bolton, however, have since been improved by the council under a programme to create more primary school places.

Children’s services bosses said they do not have a current list of “priority schools for rebuilding” — although under the new scheme schools can bid for rebuilds, repairs and improvements.

A spokesman added: “We are totally focused on providing the best education for children in Bolton.

“Securing additional funding to build better schools will help us achieve this and we await the government’s guidelines on how schools will be chosen for this programme before evaluating our options.”

The government said details of how schools will be selected for the new phase of the Priority School Building Programme will be published in the near future.

And added its aim was that “every child will have a good-quality school place in school buildings which are safe and fit for purpose”.

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