Boost in bid to spend £2.75m on improving Hartlepool school's buildings
Councillors and education bosses have backed plans for £2.75milllion improvements to Catcote Academy to ensure better facilities for pupils with special needs in Hartlepool.
It comes after Hartlepool Borough Council chiefs reported how the main academy building is “no longer fit for purpose” after a number of years without any significant investment.
A children’s services committee meeting on Wednesday heard how plans are in place for improvements, including a “significant extension” to the Catcote Road school.
It will allow the existing temporary demountable building, used for 15 years, to be replaced and help it provide more support for children with moderate learning difficulties.
Councillors on the committee unanimously backed the proposals and to send them to the finance and policy committee, which will finalise the funding arrangements.
Committee chairman Cllr Jim Lindridge said: “Children’s education is paramount, it tops everything no matter what the cost is.
“If we end up with multiple students being sent away from the town and educated elsewhere, it also has a massive impact on the budget and revenue.”
Council leader Cllr Shane Moore added: “Obviously the scheme is worthwhile and in fact it’s more than needed, so I have no problem supporting this.”
Sue Sharpe, chairwoman of Hartlepool Schools’ Forum, added they were “wholeheartedly in support” of the proposals and also wanted to see further work on exploring ways to relieve funding pressures faced by the sector.
It is proposed the project would be funded from £1.2million of grant funding and £1.55million of prudential borrowing.