Developers fund £5m Kirkliston Primary extension

An artist's impression of the new school facilities. Picture: comp

An artist's impression of the new school facilities. Picture: comp

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DEVELOPERS are set to bankroll a £5 million extension to Kirkliston Primary as part of a deal to build almost 700 new homes in the town.

The funding will create eight extra classrooms, a new gym, dining hall and a string of enhanced sports facilities. Campus capacity will be increased to accommodate 100 additional pupils.

Firms behind the new 674-home estate will stagger their investment to help expand the full-to-bursting school. One payment of £1.2m has already been received.

Funding has been agreed with a consortium of housebuilders led by Barratts East Scotland under a Section 75 agreement, which requires developers to bolster local infrastructure to cope with the rising population.

The deal means Kirkliston Primary has cleared the final hurdle for construction to begin on the three-year phased expansion project. The school roll is projected to increase from 360 to 500 by 2019.

Neil McIntosh, chairman of the parent council, said a flood of young families was expected to buy homes in the development.

“It’s been a long time coming and we’re delighted that it finally has approval,” he said. “The population in the village is growing, and it’s young families who are coming. There are going to be some growing pains.”

Education leader Councillor Paul Godzik said the primary school extension was “vital” to cope with the extra demand.

He said: “Being able to appoint a contractor in the next few weeks means that work can start as soon as possible on the first phase, comprising a new dining hall, gym, two additional teaching spaces, a grass games pitch and a hard-surface court to ensure it can be completed in time for the start of the 2015-16 school year in August 2015.”

Councillor Lindsay Paterson, who represents Kirkliston residents, said: “This is something that has been a long time coming, and it’s not a moment too soon. With the number of new houses being built, the school roll has been getting higher and higher, and the kids do desperately need extra room and fit-for-purpose facilities.”

The payout is set to be rubber-stamped by councillors at a meeting of the Finance and Resources Committee on Wednesday.