Government to help fund £180m replacement for blaze-hit Dunfermline school

The Scottish Government has made funding available for a new shared learning campus to replace the fire-hit Woodmill High School in Dunfermline.

John Swinney

Education secretary John Swinney said the proposed joint learning campus would bring together pupils, students and staff at Woodmill High, St Columba’s High School and Fife College in modern, fit for purpose and low carbon facilities. The new campus could be ready by the end of 2024.

The Scottish Government had been in discussions with Fife Council on the construction of the joint school and college campus since before the fire at Woodmill.

With costs estimated to be between £150 million and £180m, the government confirmed it will invest up to £90m in capital to fund the College portion of the campus, and up to 50% of the overall cost for the schools element.

Mr Swinney said: “Woodmill High School was devastated by the fire and it is clear that Fife Council, Fife College and surrounding schools have made a tremendous effort to find alternative accommodation and minimise disruption to pupils’ learning.

“Since the fire ten days ago, I accelerated discussions with Fife Council and Fife College and I am now very pleased to confirm we support the development of a brand new joint learning campus.

“Locating the two schools and Fife College on the same site would give pupils easy access to a greater variety of subjects and qualifications. Schools, colleges and universities are the cornerstones of our communities and a joint campus model will give Dunfermline a hub of high quality, low carbon and digitally-enabled facilities.”

Fife Council will consult with the community before plans are finalised.

Convener of Fife Council’s education and children’s services committee, Fay Sinclair, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity. We have been looking at ways to expand, replace and improve our school buildings for some time and a shared campus will open up so many different learning options and routes for our young people to access the careers they want.

“We have already held community engagement sessions on the future of education provision. This will inform our work with Fife College to bring forward firm proposals for a new development, which the community will be consulted on before plans are finalised.

“Today’s announcement gives the Woodmill community reassurance about the long term plans for their school, as we work through short and medium-term arrangements at this difficult time.”

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