Plans proceed for Cumnock education campus

East Aryshire CouncilEast Ayrshire Council’s cabinet has agreed to proceed with a project for a new state of the art learning campus in Cumnock.

The proposed new campus, set to be built on part of Broomfield Playing Fields, would see a new Hillside School, a new school to replace Greenmill and Barshare Primaries and Early Childhood Centres a new secondary school to replace Cumnock and Auchinleck Academies and new Supported Learning Centres to replace those at Barshare and Cumnock Academy.

Plans include purpose-designed facilities for dining, games, sports and recreation, information communication technology, drama and the arts.

The decision will now be considered by the council’s governance and scrutiny committee.

An extensive consultation process revealed widespread support for the project although some reservations were mooted in favour of refurbishing the existing Barshare school to retain its local presence.

Councillor Stephanie Primrose, the council’s spokesperson for promoting lifelong learning, said: “I am reassured that Education Scotland is so positive about the proposals and believe that they will mean additional educational benefit for all pupils.

“I understand the concern from those in properties neighbouring Broomfield, but there is an absolute commitment to work with them on the design and on location within the site so that any adverse impact is minimised. We are also committed to ensure that there is no reduction in the level of facilities needed for sports use.

“We need to recognise legitimate safety concerns and there must be no compromise on this. If our road safety colleagues are not able to make routes as safe as they need to be in terms of national guidance then we need to make sure additional transport directly to the campus is provided.”

Councillor Eoghann MacColl, spokesperson for promoting lifelong learning said: “This is leading edge thinking. This new campus will have some of the best facilities in the UK and has the capacity to raise ambition and aspiration of this and future generations.

“It means that three separate schools with three separate head teachers will all have top notch sports, recreational, theatre and ICT facilities that will be accessible by the community as well. There is also the opportunity to include Ayrshire College provision and Business Enterprise starter units.

“The investment shows our confidence in our young people. Experience at combined campuses at Grange and St Joseph’s has been excellent and we have seen good educational outcomes.”

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