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Royal Borough cabinet members approve school expansion funding

Schools across the Royal Borough look set to benefit from multi-million pound expansions after councillors approved funding on Thursday.

Cox Green School, Newlands Girls’ School, and Charters School will all receive additional teaching spaces.

It was approved unanimously by councillors of the Royal Borough cabinet in their Town Hall meeting, after a brief discussion.

Cllr Natasha Airey (Con, Park), cabinet member for children's services, said the council was ‘creating excellent teaching spaces’ for the borough’s children as she introduced the funding paper.

In a statement after the meeting, she said: “We are committed to ensuring the borough has enough school spaces and these investments will allow hundreds more pupils to attend a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ secondary school.

“Building a borough for everyone means making sure that we help create the homes and infrastructure that residents need and this £30m school expansion programme will ensure that the larger intake of children currently undertaking their primary education will have a secondary school place ready when they need it.”

Councillors approved that Dawnus Construction will expand Charters School at a cost of £3,343,199 and Cox Green School at £3,681,388.

Charters will receive a new block of 11 classrooms and two science labs, as well as a dining room extension.

Cox Green School would get a new block of nine classrooms, a ‘re-provided kitchen/dining room’, and a number of remodelled classrooms, according to the paper presented to cabinet members.

Contract Trading Services will take on the Newlands Girls’ School project at a cost of £769,890, financed from S106 money.

The scheme will create three extra teaching spaces.

The money previously allocated to Lowbrook Academy for expanding that school - £290,000 - will be reassigned to the maintenance programme for schools.

Cabinet members also voted to move the Hurley and Walthams Neighbourhood Plan to its next stage, meaning it will now go to a vote.

No date on a referendum has been set yet.

Councillors also noted the projected £828,000 overspend in the Royal Borough’s general fund.

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