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£2.3Bn building fund announced for Welsh education infrastructure

The Welsh Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams, has unveiled a £2.3Bn funding package which will modernise education infrastructure across the country.

The new measures will help safeguard the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme – a substantial long-term strategic capital investment programme – as it enters its second stage of engagement.

Band A will come to an end in 2019 with a whopping £1.4Bn invested over a five year period. A second stage, Band B, is comprised of two separate funding streams; one using traditional capital, the other employing revenue funding via a new form of Public Private Partnership – the Mutual Investment Model (MIM).

Local authorities and further education institutions have proposed £2.3Bn worth of projects. Each of these will meet a range of investment criteria, including:

  • Alleviating demand for Welsh medium education.
  • Rectifying surplus capacity and inefficiencies within the system.
  • Expanding schools and colleges in areas of increased demand.
  • Addressing the condition of educational assets.
  • Making assets available for community use where demand exists.

“I am committed to raising standards, reducing the attainment gap and delivering an education system from the ground up that is a source of national pride and confidence,” said the Education Secretary, Ms Williams. “The 21st Century Schools and Education Programme is one of the means to achieve this ambition and represents the largest investment in our schools and colleges since the 1960s.

“The first wave of funding provided though the Programme will see investment of more than £1.4Bn over the five year period ending 2019, supporting the rebuild and refurbishment of more than 150 schools and colleges across the Wales. This is why I am delighted to announce a second wave of investment for the Programme, which will begin in April 2019.”

Ms Williams concluded: “We will work closely with our partners to agree the pace of delivery and put in place investment plans that are affordable and meet our shared ambition to create sustainable learning environments that meet the needs of our communities.”

Announcements on individual Band B projects are to be made in conjunction with local authorities in due course.

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