South Scotland

Dumfries Learning Town: revised plans start to take shape

Dumfries High School Image copyright Google
Image caption A bid will be worked up to replace Dumfries High School

Details of a revised bid to overhaul schools in southern Scotland have started to emerge.

It comes after Dumfries and Galloway Council revealed that its original plans would require annual savings of about £10m for 25 years.

The local authority is now being asked to agree that work should start on a bid to replace Dumfries High School.

Meanwhile, upgrade options will be developed for Dumfries Academy and Laurieknowe and Noblehill Primaries.

The first phase of the Dumfries Learning Town project - to overhaul St Joseph's College and build the new North West Community Campus and The Bridge learning hub - has been completed.

Image copyright Rose and Trev Clough
Image caption Options will be examined to improve Dumfries Academy

Phase two was supposed to see two new campuses built - one including Dumfries High School and Noblehill Primary with the other seeing Dumfries Academy redeveloped and Loreburn Primary relocated to the site.

However, the council confirmed earlier this year that those plans would have to be revised in the face of financial pressures.

Now it intends to instruct officers to start working on a potential bid to the Scottish government to replace the school in the worst condition - Dumfries High.

Options to improve Dumfries Academy and Noblehill and Laurieknowe primaries - along with estimated costs and timescales - will be presented to the council in January.

Officers will also start an option appraisal to identify the "optimal solution" for Loreburn Primary.

Jeff Leaver, who chairs the education and learning committee, said the administration remained committed to the learning town scheme.

However, he said they would have to be "imaginative and creative" to see how to develop a "realistic funding bid" for the next phase.

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