West Lothian outlines £38m capital programme
West Lothian Council is set to invest over £38 million in 2019/20 on assets to support the delivery of essential services.
The council has approved an updated Asset Management Strategy and General Services Capital Programme for 2019/20.
This will involve significant investment of: nearly £21m in schools and other property; almost £11m spent on roads and related assets: over £2m on open spaces; and over £4m invested in vital information and communication technology (ICT) assets.
Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: “It’s vital that our staff have the resources they need to deliver essential services for the people of West Lothian, and this capital investment programme will support that work.
“Without facilities such as schools, depots and partnerships centres, we would not be able to deliver the services that people in West Lothian rely on, so it’s important we invest our limited budget wisely.
“With a growing young population in West Lothian, education will be the focus of our investment, as the council begins our largest ever investment in the additional support needs (ASN) school network and a major upgrade of the school estate.”
This investment is part of the long-term strategy, which is expected to see the council spend £355m on vital assets between 2019/20 and 2027/28.
A recent benchmarking report by the Improvement Service showed that West Lothian has one of the best property estates, including schools, and among the best maintained ‘A’ class roads in Scotland, thanks to prudent investment in recent years.
West Lothian Council is expected to invest over £18m in the next nine years in ASN schools, including a replacement Beatlie school, a new Cedarbank school and extensions for Pinewood and Ogilvie schools.
Over £27m will be invested in the school estate between 2019/20 and 2027/28, including roof replacements, toilet and kitchen upgrades and window replacements at schools all over West Lothian.
Resources are also in place for the council to bid for match funding for potential replacements for a number of schools, including Eastertoun in Armadale, East Calder, Deans in Livingston and St Joseph’s in Whitburn.
Work is well underway to deliver the new £5m Whitburn Partnership Centre, along with almost £20m of modernisation projects planned for homeless accommodation, energy saving and renewables as well as new sport facilities for Kirknewton and Armadale.
Major road investments over the next year will include the Bathgate Branch Railway Bridge, the A801 Roundabout at M8 Junction 4 near East Whitburn and the B8020 Beatlie Road in Winchburgh among others. Other investment will include: over £1.8m for the replacement Skollieburn Bridge in Addiewell; £1.4m on LED replacement street lighting; and over £600,000 on flood prevention and drainage projects.
Open space investment will include sports pitch improvements at East Calder and St Margaret’s Academy, as well as improvements in internal pathways and roadways at West Lothian’s three country parks and cemetery investment.
Technology plays a major role in efficient delivery of customer-focused council services and over £4m will be invested in 2019/20 to modernise council ICT assets in this area, such as IT devices and software, connectivity and infrastructure including storage, servers, wireless and security.