New Schools and record funding for councils

The SNP Government today delivered record funding for local authorities and the second phase of investment in new schools for Scotland.

Announcing funding for 21 new schools Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

"Today's announcement means that every local authority in Scotland will benefit from our new £1.25bn school building programme, as we continue to reverse the trend of under investment and neglect in Scotland's school estate seen in previous decades.

"This Government inherited a legacy of 260,000 pupils in poor or bad condition school buildings and in just two and a half years that number has dropped by over 100,000. We are on track to deliver in excess of 250 new or refurbished schools in the lifetime of this Parliament through £2bn of investment already underway, supported by decisions made by the Scottish Government.

"Communities, teachers and pupils throughout Scotland will benefit from this new investment and the latest phase will have an impact right across the country, from the Borders up to Shetland, from Aberdeen across to Dunoon.

"And in the space of two months we have announced additional support for around £700m of new investment in refurbishing and replacing 35 schools, which will see over 18,000 more young people learning in cutting-edge, modern classrooms."

Finance Secretary John Swinney later announced £12 billion of funding for local authorities for the next year including a third year of the council tax freeze.  Speaking in Parliament Mr Swinney said:

"The settlement is good news for Scottish householders and businesses. By working in partnership with local councils and providing the funding for a third successive council tax freeze, we are easing the financial strain on households feeling the effects of these tough economic times.

"And, as we continue our efforts to position Scotland's economy for recovery, I am delighted that we are again keeping the business rates poundage in-line with England - the lowest national poundage ever set for Scotland. This will give our businesses a saving worth almost 220 million pounds in 2010-11 and, when combined with other support we are providing, will give Scottish businesses a competitive advantage over other parts of the UK.

"The funding increase for councils next year would have been 174 million pounds higher had it not been for the 500 million pounds cut in the Scottish budget from Westminster. We welcome the commitment of councils agreeing to accept this share of the reduction and go on working with national government to meet our agreed commitments."

The schools receiving funding today are:

Aberdeen City - Bucksburn Primary/ Newhills Primary

Argyle & Bite - Dunoon Primary/ Kirn Primary/ St Mun's Primary Clackmannanshire - St John's Primary/ Claremont Primary, Alloa

Ayrshire - Gargieston Primary,Kilmarnock

East Dunbartonshire - Lairdsland Primary, Kirkintilloch

East Lothian - Haddington Infants / St Mary's Primary

Eilean Siar - Daliburgh Primary

Falkirk - New RC primary

Glasgow - 3 projects: Garrowhill Primary; Glendale Primary;

one further primary school

Inverclyde - Lilybank/ Glenburn Special Schools

Moray - Kinloss Primary

Orkney - Evie Primary

Perth & Kinross - Invergowrie Primary

Renfrewshire - St James Primary, Renfrew

Scottish Borders - Duns Primary

Shetland - Happyhansel Primary, Walls

South Lanarkshire - Spittal Primary, Rutherglen

Stirling - Riverside Primary

West Lothian - Pumpherston & Uphall Station Primary