East Ayrshire Council to deliver £395m of schools investment
Proposals were unveiled for the creation of a £63m Learning and Enterprise development in the Cumnock area. The Knockroon Learning and Enterprise Campus will be the first of its kind in Scotland; offering education and training opportunities for young people of all ages and all abilities, including early years, primary and secondary education, special school, further education in partnership with Ayrshire College, and business enterprise opportunities.
The announcement compliments plans previously approved for the construction of a new £40m Learning Campus for 3-18 year olds in Kilmarnock, bringing together two existing primary schools and two secondary schools and including Gaelic education.
In addition, four new primary schools will be built, namely St Sophia’s Primary School, Galston; Bellsbank Primary School and Early Childhood Centre with Community Facilities, Dalmellington; Muirkirk Primary School and Early Childhood Centre, with community facilities and a merger of Bellfield and Kirkstyle primaries in Kilmarnock.
There are plans too, to undertake a major school refurbishment programme, for improvements, extensions and smaller building works on a number of existing schools to ensure the entire school estate reaches either an A or B quality rating.
The council has also approved expansions at various early childhood establishments to create the facilities necessary for the provision of 600 hours of early learning and childcare for all 3 and 4 years olds and those 2 year olds who are looked after or under kinship care orders.
In recognition of the increasingly significant role digital technology plays in education, a budget of £290k has been allocated to provide mobile devices to support pilot work in three schools, providing vital internet resources to support their learning.
Presenting the proposals to Cabinet, Councillor Douglas Reid, leader of East Ayrshire Council said: “The new proposals will see East Ayrshire Council delivering two of the biggest and most ambitious education projects in its history, and will also result in every school in the area benefiting in some way from this major investment programme.
“We are committed to giving our young people the best possible start in life. These youngsters are the future of East Ayrshire and it’s vital that they have access to the best possible facilities and learning environments as they progress through the different stages of the education curriculum and eventually into employment.
“This investment in our schools is confirmation of our confidence in our young people.”