School refurbishment to start after three-year wait

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The long-awaited refurbishment of a dilapidated primary school will finally start this summer.

Cullercoats Primary School was among 16 North East schools chosen in 2015 to benefit from a £140m boost from central Government, as part of plans to rebuild and refurbish the school buildings in the worst condition across the country.

However, it has been a long wait for that building work – part of the second phase of the Priority School Building Programme – to start at the North Tyneside school.

But the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) have now confirmed the proposal for the refurbishment project, which will include replacing windows, the roof, mechanical and electrical services, and internal alterations and improvements.

North Tyneside Council’s Iain Betham told the borough’s school forum on Wednesday that modular accommodation will arrive at the school this month to allow pupils to move out of the existing building while work is carried out.

He said: “This is quite a detailed bit of work because we are moving the young people around.

“But with the support of our team I am sure we will get to a point where it is completed by 2020.”

The works are due to commence on June 18, starting in the school’s nursery, and the entire project is targeted for completion by the end of February 2020.

The first phase of the Priority School Building Programme saw improvements completed at Whitehouse Primary, as well as Longbenton High School and Marden High School.

External works at John Spence High School were also completed at the end of December.

Backworth Park Primary School’s new build – funded by contributions from relation to local housing developments – is due to open to staff and pupils in September.

The project has involved relocating the school to a new, larger site to accommodate increasing pupil numbers as a consequence of existing and newly approved residential developments.

Daniel Holland , Local Democracy Reporting Service