Moray defers £16.9m primary school build due to increased costs
Moray Council has deferred the final design and construction start date, by up to five years, for a new primary school for Elgin due to affordability and capacity concerns.
Findrassie Primary School was planned to open by the end of 2025 and accommodate up to 450 pupils in a high-quality, sustainable primary campus with nursery and Additional Support Need (ASN) provision. The new school was to provide additional capacity as a consequence of the new residential development to the north of Elgin.
A decision to defer the new build project was agreed at a meeting of the council’s Education, Children’s and Leisure Services Committee last week.
In a report taken in private, due to information on proposed expenditure, officers set out new factors that have emerged since the Findrassie project was given the go-ahead by the council in 2020.
The overall affordability of the project has been significantly impacted by cost pressures from increased costs of key construction materials alongside the increased cost of public sector borrowing. Additionally, fewer primary school places will be needed in the Elgin Academy Associated School Group (ASG) area over the next seven years.
Chair of the Education, Children’s and Leisure Services Committee, Councillor Kathleen Robertson, said: “As a council, we have a duty to secure best value. Given the decrease in projected pupil numbers and global supply chain challenges impacting on the affordability and delivery of Findrassie Primary School, now is not the time to proceed with the project.”
The council’s 10-year capital plan includes an indicative budget of £16.9 million for the Findrassie School project. The decision to defer will be reviewed by the council on an annual basis.