Clackmannanshire provides school investment update as Wellbeing Hub moves a step closer
Investment in educational facilities in Clackmannanshire is continuing with councillors agreeing to options appraisal work on both St Mungo’s RC Primary and Deerpark and Lochies schools.
St Mungo’s moved to a location within Alloa Academy to protect the safety of pupils and staff, after the original school building suffered from water ingress. A further technical report has now found that the old site is no longer viable for use as a school.
An options appraisal to bring forward potential future permanent relocation for St Mungo’s will now take place, with a list of options brought forward to a future council meeting. As is required by legislation, a full consultation will then take place which will include the entire school community and the Roman Catholic Diocese.
The Scottish Government has announced a further Learning Estate Investment Programme in 2022 where local authorities will be asked to submit bids for new schools. The criteria for the bid process includes the availability of capital funding, and the assessed condition and suitability of any existing building.
The condition survey work has identified that replacing Deerpark and Lochies with new schools would be a priority for a bid. Councillors have agreed to the immediate commencement of an Options Appraisal to look at the current site and possible options.
Councillors also heard about the significant investment which has already taken place in Clackmannanshire’s school estate, with improvements completed at buildings including Park ELC, Bowmar Centre, Craigbank ELC and Tullibody South Campus.
Cllr Graham Lindsay, spokesperson for education, said: “I was pleased to see council agree this report, as we continue to invest in ensuring that our children and young people are educated in buildings which offer them the very best educational opportunities.
“The whole school community has worked very hard to ensure that pupils at St Mungo’s are well settled while they are located at Alloa Academy, and I look forward to seeing and sharing the progress made to identifying potential new locations for the school.
“I will also be interested to see the information that comes forward in the options appraisal for Deerpark and Lochies schools, and the potential for a bid to create new schools.”
Meanwhile, the implementation of a new Wellbeing Hub for Clackmannanshire is one step closer as work begins on the procurement journey for the community-led facility, a report at the council has outlined.
As progress on the Wellbeing Hub moves at pace, extensive engagement has continued across the full range of stakeholders, including partners in health, and remains at the heart of development process. A steering group has now also been established to manage the next stage of development.
Part of the new hub development is interim swimming provision in the form of a temporary pool. The design stage of the interim pool has been completed following a successful procurement process. The project is now moving to the planning stage as agreed at Council in October 2021.
The interim pool, which is a major milestone in the development of the Wellbeing Hub Programme, will allow for club, public and learn to swim provision as well as supporting a school swimming programme.
Councillor Craig Holden, environment & housing spokesperson, said: “Councillors have been provided with an update on the tremendous progress being made by our officers to deliver Clackmannanshire’s Wellbeing Hub and state of the art temporary swimming pool. We have listened to the feedback from groups and residents throughout Clackmannanshire and I’m especially pleased to hear that colleagues working in health are playing a key role in shaping this project. Our key priority is to make sure that we deliver community-led leisure and wellbeing facilities that work for all of our residents, at every stage of their lives.”
Anita Paterson, health promotion service manager, NHS Forth Valley, said: “I, along with a number of colleagues from NHS Forth Valley, have been closely involved in the development of the new Wellbeing Hub and we look forward to working together to help improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Clackmannanshire.
“We know how important regular exercise like swimming is for overall health and wellbeing so having access to a new swimming pool is great news for the local community. Swimming is also great for people of all ages and fitness levels, including people who are recovering after illness or an operation, so it is great to see progress being made to open this new pool facility.”