£100m festive school bonanza

Christmas arrived early today for two of the region’s schools with news they are to share a near-£100m cash injection.

Galashiels Academy.
Galashiels Academy.

A proposed complete rebuild of fire-damaged Peebles High School and a new Galashiels Academy, possibly on the town’s Scott Park, have been allocated funding, which is believed could total in the region of a whopping £97m, Scottish education secretary John Swinney has confirmed.

Councillor Stuart Bell, the council’s SNP group leader, has hailed the rapid announcement as unprecedented, saying: “It is amazing that the Scottish government has just announced that it is prepared to fund both new schools in their allocation of capital. We did not get any new school funding in the last round; to now get funding for two is an unprecedented Christmas present for the Borders.”

Council leader Shona Haslam, said: “Today’s announcement by the Scottish Government is fantastic news for our young people and the wider communities in Galashiels and Peebles. This funding support will enable us to press ahead with our plans for both schools and maintain our fantastic record on delivering exceptional learning and community spaces across the Scottish Borders.”

Councillor Carol Hamilton, the council’s executive member for Children and Young People, added: “As highlighted at yesterday’s council meeting, significant progress continues to be made on both the Galashiels and Peebles plans. This funding announcement provides a huge boost to these projects.”