Liverpool’s bid to keep its axed Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme alive took another major step forward this week with the approval of plans to rebuild 12 schools.
A total of £135 million is to be spent over the next five years on the 12 primary, secondary and special schools. A further £34 million has been allocated for other schools in need of investment.
Back in 2010, the city had been due to receive £350 million under the BSF scheme only to see the coalition government axe the programme.
However, when the funding was cut, city mayor Joe Anderson set up a taskforce to create an alternative set of proposals for the schools that were most in need.
The group reported back last year with its initial proposals covering eight schools across the city and work has already begun on the first of those – Notre Dame Catholic College in Everton, which is set to open in September next year. The updated plans finalised this week now include a total of
12 schools and were formally approved at a Liverpool City Council cabinet meeting on Monday (November 19).
The schemes approved include rebuilding work for Archbishop Beck Secondary and St John Bosco Secondary, (both opening September 2014), and also for Archbishop Blanch Secondary, St Hilda’s Secondary, and Holly Lodge Secondary (opening September 2015).
Money has been raised for the project by selling off land and other assets.
Mr Anderson said: “We have already seen the first spade going in the ground at Notre Dame and over the next few years thousands of pupils will benefit from the investment we are making.”
Councillor Jane Corbett, cabinet member for education, added: “We have come a long way since the government axed wave six of the BSF programme. By working creatively with our schools we have been able to come up with alternative proposals which will transform education for thousands of pupils.”
It is hoped that 70 per cent of the £169 million will be spent with Merseyside firms with 400 apprenticeships being created in the process.
CAPTION: Rebuild plan: Notre Dame Catholic College is the first of 12 schools to be rebuilt under Liverpool’s £169 million BSF rescue package