Delayed funding for the new Dalbeattie Learning Campus is finally to be delivered by the Scottish Government, allowing Dumfries & Galloway Council to proceed with financial close on the project. This was due to have been reached in September but problems with the Scottish Government’s Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) ‘Hub’ programme resulted in the promised £25million of Scottish Government funds not being delivered on time.
Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Labour-led Administration have continuously lobbied the Scottish Government’s Finance Secretary, John Swinney MSP, since concerns for the Scottish Government’s SFT ‘Hub’ programme were initially highlighted. They have also raised it at meetings of the Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA) which also wrote to Mr Swinney expressing concerns about similar delayed school building projects across Scotland
It is estimated that substantial additional costs for the project may have arisen as a result of the delays.
Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Education Committee, Councillor Jeff Leaver said:
“It’s welcome news that we have finally managed to secure this funding which will allow us to proceed to Financial Close for the Dalbeattie Learning Campus project. However the delays caused by the Scottish Government may have significant repercussions for the overall financial cost of the project. It was estimated that delays in starting work on site could incur a potential £200,000 per month in additional costs. My main concern now is that further delays may arise as a result of severe winter weather. Work was initially scheduled to begin two months ago, giving us a good window to begin construction before harsher weather was upon us. I feel it’s only right that the Scottish Government covers any additional costs resulting from these delays.”
Dalbeattie Councillor, Davie Stitt added:
“Local pupils, parents and teachers were rightfully concerned by the delays from the Scottish Government in coming up with the promised funding for the Dalbeattie Learning Campus. We’ve all been eager to see work begin as soon as possible, so it’s a relief now to see that we’ve managed to secure the funding in full. This project is a key part of the Council’s overall capital investment strategy, and I’m pleased that we can continue delivering our ambitious programmes for education, as well as providing a vital economic boost for our local area.”