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Local schools set for building improvements

 
Created on 30/04/2021 @ 10:00

A major building improvement budget of over £5 million is set to be agreed for Powys’ schools.

At their meeting on Tuesday, Powys County Council’s Independent/Conservative cabinet will discuss a report for the programme.

While the detail of the programme will be discussed at cabinet, the principle of the maintenance programme was agreed at full council as part of the overall council building strategy up to 2030, as part of the 2021/22 budget.

The report explains: “The major improvement programme focusses on improving the condition of school buildings, safeguarding, energy improvements, essential health and safety works and improving external areas to maintain education and curriculum delivery.

“The programme is flexible and can be amended if there are implications that arise from either school reorganisation proposals or plans for significant capital investment that may be funded from 21st Century Schools Programme  or other grants that emerge over the period.”

Work that could be considered for funding from the programme includes building condition, health and safety issues, environmental health issues and a legal need to do the work.

Making the school estate greener and more eco-friendly will go hand-in-hand with the maintenance programme.

The report adds: “An application has been made by the energy management officer for the funding of energy efficiency project works through the Welsh Government SALIX programme.

“These energy efficiency works are very likely to result in the need for consequential works, which will need to be funded from the major improvements programme budget.”

Projects would need to justified by a business case, and as the Welsh Government Green Growth fund is administered by SALIX finance who provide interest fee loans, an “affordable payback period” would need to be agreed.

If the programme is approved in principle by cabinet, projects will be agreed by the school service, energy management officer, schools finance scheme as well as the individual school.

Depending on the size of the project the final go ahead will be given by the education portfolio holder or cabinet.

Of the £5 million, over £2.2 million comes from the Welsh Government’s capital maintenance grant.

Part of the funding includes £749,000 which was rolled over from the 2020/21 financial year.