BSF projects saved

Education Secretary Michael Gove has announced that 15 school projects in the North West will now go ahead.

Capital allocations for a further seven in the region will be decided in the spending review in October.

The government announced in July cuts to the £55bn Buildings Schools for the Future programme will stop 715 secondary schools in the UK being built, including 110 in the North West.

Gove said most local authorities that have not already signed contracts with developers to rebuild and refurbish schools will see schemes halted as part of plans to cut £7.5bn of costs over five years. Those that have already completed contract negotiations – reached financial close in trade jargon – will proceed.

A total of 113 schools were unaffected by the cuts in the region, 31 are already open or are due to open this year, while 22 academies remained under review on a case-by-case basis.

Local authorities in Blackpool, Bolton, Cheshire West & Chester, Halton, Liverpool, Oldham, Trafford, St Helens and Wirral, entered discussions with government to make the case for saving academies under review within each borough.

Now, all the nine prioritised 'sample projects' under review in the North West, where work was significantly advanced but no financial close had been reached, have been allocated capital.

Six of the 13 academies under review in the North West have also been given the go ahead.

Gove said: "I know how hard councils and schools have worked on these projects and I have been anxious to ensure we can do everything we can, in difficult economic times, to support the crucial work of raising educational standards. Planning for these projects is well advanced and we are keen they should proceed without further delay. I'm determined that we press ahead with the Academies programme and want all those schools identified as future academies to enjoy the freedoms and benefits academy status brings.

"We will also work with councils, sponsors and the construction industry to ensure we bear down on costs and bureaucracy so every new school is built in as cost-effective and efficient a way as possible, and I am delighted that they have already responded so positively to this challenge."

Below is a list of the school projects allocated capital in the North West and those which the government will decide on after the spending review:

Blackpool

Highfield Humanities College Sample – capital allocated

Mountford Centre Sample – capital allocated

St. Mary's Catholic College Sample – capital allocated

Bolton

Kearsley Academy – capital allocation for notification after spending review

Cheshire West & Chester

Cheshire 4 Noodford Lodge Academy – capital allocation for notification after spending review

University of Chester Church of England Academy – capital allocated

Halton

Halton High School Academy – capital allocation for notification after spending review

The Grange Comprehensive High School Sample – capital allocated

Wade Decon High School Sample – capital allocated

Liverpool

De La Salle Liverpool Academy – capital allocation for notification after spending review

Enterprise South Liverpool Academy – capital allocated

Oldham

Oasis Oldham Academy Academy – capital allocated

The Waterhead Academy – capital allocated

New RC School – Sample – capital allocated

North Chadderton Sample – capital allocated

Oldham Academy North Academy – capital allocated

St Helens

Sutton High Academy – capital allocation for notification after spending review

De La Salle Sample – capital allocated

Rainford High Technology Sample – capital allocated PFI

Trafford

Trafford Academy Academy – capital allocation for notification after spending review

Wirral

Birkenhead High School Academy Academy – capital allocated

University Academy of Birkenhead – capital allocation for notification after spending review

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