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Scottish Ministers agree Greater Fort William review recommendations (03/11/10)
Scottish Ministers, who recently called in plans by The Highland Council to review school provision in the Greater Fort William area, have now granted consent for the Council to close Caol Primary School, Fort William Roman Catholic Primary School and Lochyside Roman Catholic Primary School in order to build 2 new schools on a joint campus basis on the site of the current Caol Primary School.
In addition they have agreed to close Fort William Primary School and Upper Achintore Primary School in order to merge them on a new site.
These consents were granted, subject to the condition that the Council undertakes further consultation with interested parties on the detailed plans for the schools nearer to an exact date of implementation, once that has been established.
Funding for the new schools was identified as a priority project within the Council’s 5 year Capital Programme approved in June this year. However, the timescale for building the new schools will not be known until the Scottish Government’s local government financial settlement is announced later this year.
Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Education Culture and Sport Committee, welcomed the confirmation of the Council’s plans by the Scottish Government.
He said: “I have to congratulate the Scottish Government for the speed with which they have reviewed our recommendations after calling them in. We can assure the public that we will consult with them every step of the way as we progress the much-needed rationalisation of school provision in Greater Fort William.”
Local Highland Councillor Michael Foxley said: “I am very pleased that the Scottish Government has made such a speedy decision. We now need to ensure that the capital is made available to get the schools built as soon as possible.”