Moray Councillors have today (Monday 7 November) agreed that Forres Academy should be prioritised for Scottish Government Learning Estate Improvement Programme (LEIP) Phase 3 funding.
Buckie High School has also been put forward to receive funding, with the council indicating to the Scottish Government that it should be considered as well. Both projects are included in the council’s indicative capital plan and will be considered further regardless of the outcome of the LEIP funding bid.
Phase 3 of the Learning Estate Investment Programme follows an outcome based funding model that will provide revenue funding on the achievement of a set of agreed outcomes: condition; energy efficiency; digital connectivity; economic growth; and embodied carbon.
The decision follows previous committee agreement, on 28 September, to submit funding bids for both Forres Academy and Buckie High School. The detailed project infrastructure option will be chosen following the outcome of the bid and will include extensive engagement with parents/carers, pupils, teaching staff and the local community.
The high-level options for Forres Academy include minimum refurbishment; major refurbishment to meet LEIP requirements; major refurbishment with extension that meets the LEIP requirements; new build secondary school and community hub; and a new build 3-18 campus.
Moray Council Leader, Cllr Kathleen Robertson, said: “I’m confident that the decision to support Forres Academy as the number one priority for LEIP Phase 3 funding will be welcomed by the local community. Council also reiterated its commitment to funding a new Buckie High School as its second priority.
“Despite significant investment over the past 10 years, we understand that the existing school building continues to face a set of unique challenges. The Moray Learning Estate Strategy sets out our commitment to creating learning environments that are inspiring, fit-for-purpose, well-maintained and equipped for modern standards of teaching.”
A formal bid has been submitted to the Scottish Government for consideration, with successful projects expected to be announced before the end of the year. Any school accepted into Phase 3 of the programme, an operational date at the end of 2027 will need to be achieved.
Details of the Moray Learning Estate Strategy can be found on Moray Council’s website.