Shetland Islands Council has welcomed news that government funding is to be made available to build a new Anderson High School in Lerwick, which could be open in 2016.
Scottish education secretary Mike Russell announced today that as part of the third and final phase of Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme there will be support for the new school and a hall of residence.
No details of the funding package have yet been revealed but the council had hoped its bid could yield two-thirds of the £36 million cost of building the new 1,000-pupil school at the lower Staney Hill.
The council’s education and families committee chairwoman Vaila Wishart welcomed the offer of support. She said: “I’m delighted . . . and hope that this project – which will see a new school built for the whole of Shetland – can now move forward to meet the expected timescale.”
She paid tribute to the work done in preparing the successful bid by children’s services director Helen Budge and finance executive manager James Gray.
Council convener Malcolm Bell said: “This is tremendous news which will means there will be a school to meet the needs of young people across Shetland for many years to come.”
The funding comes as part of the Scottish government’s £1.2 billion investment in 67 new schools throughout Scotland by March 2018.
The SIC did not benefit from funding under the previous two rounds of the Schools for the Future programme. But the AHS is one of 12 schools to benefit from £80 million being brought forward in last week’s Scottish budget.
Mr Russell said: “Providing the best possible school accommodation is vital to the successful delivery of Curriculum for Excellence. The first two phases of Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme are already lifting thousands of pupils out of poor quality buildings.
“We have met every local authority’s request for priority builds and added an extra 12 schools to the programme. More schools are being built, and faster, but for the same level of investment as originally planned.”