County bids for four new secondary schools

FOUR NEW secondary schools could be built in Devon if the county council wins Government backing to bring forward development. Devon's Executive Committee has approved proposals to ask the Government for money to start work early on new buildings for Chu

FOUR NEW secondary schools could be built in Devon if the county council wins Government backing to bring forward development.Devon's Executive Committee has approved proposals to ask the Government for money to start work early on new buildings for Chulmleigh, Dartmouth, Ilfracombe and Tiverton secondary schools.In addition Marland special school in Torrington would also be rebuilt.Work could start on the new schools in three years.Devon's Executive Committee approved a bid to the Government for funds from the national Building Schools for the Future programme.Devon is one of 30 local authorities invited to bid for the early release of funds by the Government because of its success in delivering other projects.The county council will hear later in the year if it has been successful in its application. If it is, work will start on planning the new buildings almost immediately and building work could start in 2012.Councillors heard that Devon will have eight waves in the Building Schools for the Future or BSF programme.Chulmleigh, Dartmouth, Ilfracombe, Tiverton and Marland are in the first wave.All eight waves would mean over �800 million of investment in Devon's secondary schools.The county council would need to contribute �49 million towards the building costs and �24 million towards the running costs. Devon's deputy leader and executive councillor for children's services, John Smith, said: "In the past the Government has indicated Devon would be in the latter waves of the BSF scheme."However they have now invited a small group of local authorities which have successfully delivered a range of other projects to bid to join the scheme earlier."We have put together what we think is a sensible set of proposals for schools that badly need to be replaced."We think these schemes would also make a major contribution to economic and social regeneration in these towns and so have a positive impact on a range of services we provide in addition to the primary aim of improving educational standards."Andrea Davis County Councillor for Combe Martin Rural said she supported the funding bid for Ilfracombe College." The school is in desperate need of new buildings and this work is long overdue," she said. "Thanks to the dedication of the staff it is an excellent school, but deserves a much better environment for the children many who come from my Ward


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