Work to start early next year

Manor College of Technology
Manor College of Technology

CONSTRUCTION work on three new schools as part of a £19m investment in education could start in early 2014.

Manor College of Technology, Barnard Grove Primary School and Holy Trinity C of E Primary School are set to benefit from the Government’s multi-million pound Priority School Building Programme (PSBP).

Officers from Hartlepool Borough Council say feasibility studies are ongoing and invitations to tender have gone out.

Graham Frankland, the council’s assistant director of resources, told the children’s services committee that it would be a 12-month programme of construction and work could start in early 2014, which means the town could have three new schools by 2015.

The three town schools are part of a batch of seven across the region.

Mr Frankland added: “The council is a supporter in the planning process as oppose to the driver of the programme.”

Labour councillor Chris Simmons, committee chairman, said: “Is this the green shoots of recovery, who knows, but it is certainly the green shoots of necessity.”

The schools are working closely with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) – the body appointed to oversee the initiative.

The funding announcement was a huge boost for Hartlepool after the Government shelved the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) and Primary Capital Programme (PCP) back in 2010 as part of its nationwide spending cuts.