Investment in school buildings biggest in Europe

Published: Thursday 24 October 2019

Official opening of Black Mount primary school

Black Mount Primary School in Clydesdale was officially opened by Deputy First Minister John Swinney today.

The school is the final one to be completed as part of South Lanarkshire Council’s £850m Primary Schools Modernisation Programme.

It means that all South Lanarkshire schools, including secondary schools, have now been either completely rebuilt or refurbished with the total investment exceeding well over £1billion.

It is thought to be the largest schools modernisation project in Europe. In total 19 secondary and ASN schools and 129 primary schools have benefited from the programme which began in 2003.

Education Secretary John Swinney said: “We know high-quality, fit-for-purpose schools and campuses can make a real difference to the lives of pupils, teachers and parents, and to the communities they serve.

“I am grateful for South Lanarkshire Council’s continued investment in schools and pleased we were able to support five projects across the region with more than £14 million from Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme.

“Black Mount Primary pupils join others across the region, and more than 90% of pupils across the country, who are learning in schools in good or satisfactory condition.”

Black Mount PS Head teacher Carol Pennock said: “We are absolutely delighted with our new school and the pupils and wider school community were all thrilled that it was officially opened by the Deputy First Minister.

“It is a wonderful environment for our young people to learn and develop in, and for our staff it’s a fantastic place to come in and work every day.

“All the hard work and planning that goes into a new school is worth it when you see the young people’s faces each day – you can tell our school really has that ‘wow’ factor.”

Chair of South Lanarkshire Council’s Education Resources Committee, Councillor Katy Loudon, said: “I have a great sense of pride that Black Mount sees the final chapter in our schools modernisation programme.

“It really is a wonderful achievement to ensure every single one of our schools has either been completely rebuilt or refurbished.

“There is no doubt that our schools are inspirational places of learning and we are proud to have achieved such a milestone. 

“To have modernised all of our schools shows the commitment of the council to invest in our communities in order to provide the best learning environments for the children and our highly dedicated staff who work tirelessly to improve the wellbeing and attainment of all learners.

“We are also extremely grateful to the Scottish Government as the building of the new school has been in partnership with funding from Scotland’s Schools for the Future.”

Leader of South Lanarkshire Council, Councillor John Ross, said: “It has been a wonderful journey to see every one of our schools transformed into modern, 21st century buildings which enhance the learning opportunities of all our pupils.

“I would like to pay tribute to councillors from all political organisations who have been behind this process from the very start.

“Along with council staff across a number of resources, they have ensured that this project has been completed and it is a perfect example of the forward thinking of South Lanarkshire Council.”