Schools investment scheme success

Archbishop Beck School. Liverpool. Sept 2014

The Liverpool Schools Investment Programme created by Mayor Joe Anderson has transformed 23 schools and created 2,000 construction jobs.

That is the finding of a report looking at the impact of the scheme, which was set up to rescue Liverpool’s Building Schools for the Future programme when it was scrapped by the Government in 2010.

The funding came from a combination of city council and Government money, and has been used largely to improve secondary and special schools in the city.

The report being presented to the Cabinet on Friday 16 June shows that since 2012 it has delivered £180 million of investment, including:

• 16 completely new schools
• 3 significant new builds
• 4 extensions/new blocks

Around 62 percent of the spending on the schemes was spent with Liverpool firms, rising to 74 percent across Merseyside, thanks to a strong partnership between the council and contractors Kier, Morgan Sindall and Willmott Dixon to maximise the economic impact.

In addition to the 2,000 construction jobs, around 200 apprenticeships have also been created, giving young people vital skills and experience to develop a career in the industry.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “When the Government scrapped Building Schools for the Future in 2010, it would have been easy to wring our hands and blame it all on them. Instead, we invited our family of schools to come together and work with us on devising an alternative plan.

“What we have delivered since then is nothing short of remarkable. In the space of five years we have rebuilt or improved 23 schools, transforming education for thousands of current and future generations of schoolchildren.

“Along the way, we have made sure that local firms benefited from the contracts, securing existing jobs and creating new ones, and also helped develop the next generation of construction workers through apprenticeships.

“It is a fantastic achievement, one which is truly transformational and of which the whole city can be tremendously proud.”

Approximately £45 million was raised from the sale of school sites that became vacant, helping offset the cost of the programme.

The scheme also created 10 new housing sites on which 650 homes have been built to meet demand for new properties, generating valuable council tax income for the local authority which can be reinvested in essential services.

Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for Schools and Education Cllr Nick Small added, “Our investment in state-of-the-art new school building lays very solid foundations to ensure every child in our city gets the best education.

“Teachers working in the schools that have benefited and the children at these schools tell me that improved school buildings promotes excellent teaching and learning.”

The council will receive a windfall of £650,000 each year for the next 25 years in lease payments.

The schools to benefit from the programme are:

Full new build
Notre Dame (Sept 2013)
Archbishop Beck (Sept 2014)
St John Bosco (Sept 2014)
Millstead Primary (Sept 2014)
Bank View (Sept 2015)
St Hilda’s (Sept 2015)
Archbishop Blanch (Sept 2015)
New Park Primary (Sept 2015)
Northway Primary (Sept 2015)
St Julie’s (Sept 2017)
Redbridge (Sept 2015)
Aigburth High (Sept 2016)
Palmerston (Phase 1 Sept 2013 and Phase 2 April 2017)
Birtenshaw (Jan 2018)
New Heights (Jan 2018)
St Cuthbert’s (Early 2019)

Significant new build
Holly Lodge (Jan 2015)
SFX (Sept 2015)
Bellrieve (June 2016)

New build extension/new blocks
Abbot’s Lea (Sept 2013)
Sandfield Park (Sept 2015)
St Margaret’s (Sept 2016)
Primary Education Centre (mid 2018)