The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has given the official go ahead for Bolton to start the government’s biggest ever secondary school investment programme, Building Schools for the Future (BSF).
Bolton’s early entry to the programme secures £82.9m funding to refurbish and rebuild a first phase of six schools and stands all other secondary schools in good stead to receive further funding. Subject to the smooth delivery of phase one by 2012 and the government’s review of future spending plans, a further £80m each for phases two and three will then follow.
Phase one includes Westhoughton, Ladybridge, Little Lever, Bolton Muslim Girls, Sharples and Smithills secondary schools. Rumworth and Firwood special schools have also been accelerated to phase one due to Rumworth’s current co-location with Ladybridge and Firwood’s future relocation to the site of Bolton St Catherine’s Academy in Breightmet, with Withins and Top o’th’ Brow schools.
In March the council was shortlisted from over 100 local authorities and asked to prove Bolton is ready to start the programme. The council’s dedicated BSF team has been working hard with schools to get everything in place and prove to the government it is more than ready to get started.
Leader of the council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “We are delighted to be approved as one of just six local authorities now given the green light to start the BSF programme.
“This truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform education in Bolton for our children and young people, but the funding will also bring a wealth of benefits for everyone in Bolton, in terms of community facilities at schools and opportunities for Bolton firms to support the appointed construction company’s local supply chain.”
Bolton Council is working in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Council to deliver BSF through a Local Education Partnership. Joining forces has attracted some of the UK’s leading construction companies in a bid to build the schools across both boroughs and the successful firm will be appointed in September.
To find out more about BSF and share your views with the council click on the link on the right hand column of this page.