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Council must fund Academy project, says MSP

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Council must fund Academy project, says MSP

CLARITY is being sought about the future of plans to refurbish Dumfries Academy.

The project came to a halt last month after the council’s application for funding from the Scottish Government towards the refurbishment of Dumfries Academy, and the relocation of Loreburn Primary School to Minerva Hall was unsuccessful.

After years of delays, the Scottish Government recently announced the successful schools who will share up to £500 million of funding, as part of the Learning Estate Investment Programme (LEIP).

But it included no schools in the whole of the South Scotland, including Dumfries and Galloway.

As a result, the local authority will now need to fully fund any work, including the relocation of Loreburn Primary, on top of their recent commitment to pay for the new Dumfries High School.

Now school staff, pupils and parents are waiting for answers from Dumfries and Galloway Council about how they will now fund the project.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has dubbed the situation ‘completely unacceptable’ and is urging the council to give a clear commitment that they will fund the project themselves. He said: “There was always a risk the council wouldn’t receive any funding from the Scottish Government for the Academy and it is deeply disappointing that they don’t seem to have a plan b.

“The council has made very clear commitments to pupils, parents and staff that they will deliver the Learning Town Project.

“It has already been scaled back but if the council fail to fully fund the refurbishment of the Academy, they will be as guilty of a betrayal of the community as the Scottish Government have been.

“The council leader should make it absolutely clear that there will be no compromises and the refurbishment will be delivered in the current planned timescale.”

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