Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills Shirley-Anne Somerville today (5 October) visited the site of a new £47.2m secondary school in Wallyford to mark the early stages of construction.
The Education Secretary met with representatives from East Lothian Council, its development partner Hub South East and Morrison Construction for a tour of the site and to see the progress that has been made since main works began in August 2021. She was joined by children from Wallyford and Pinkie St Peter’s primary schools – these schools will feed into the new secondary once completed.
East Lothian Council’s Cabinet member for Education and Children’s Services Councillor Fiona Dugdale was delighted to welcome Ms Somerville to the site, saying: “The development of a new multi-million pound secondary school for the area is an exciting project for the Council, our partners and our communities. It represents a significant investment in developing a high-quality learning estate as well as modern facilities that will benefit local residents. We are pleased to welcome the Cabinet Secretary today to show the progress that has been made so far.”
Additional secondary school facilities are needed to accommodate a growing school roll in the area due to ongoing and planned housing development – some 5,000 new homes have been, or are programmed to be built across the area over the next 15 years. The new facility will combine secondary education with specialist provision for young people with severe and complex needs, a dedicated Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) centre, community and sports facilities. Works are expected to complete in Summer 2023.
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “East Lothian Council’s new secondary school in Wallyford will provide high-quality, up-to-date facilities for children and staff and will be an asset that parents and the entire community will be proud of.
“The Scottish Government’s priority is to ensure that our children or young people are educated in high quality buildings and ensure equity of provision. This will be the first school to start construction funded by our £2 billion Learning Estate Investment Programme which aims to benefit around 50,000 pupils across Scotland by the end of this Parliament.
“This funding will also help Scotland’s hard-pressed construction industry, which has endured a tough year, by sustaining jobs and providing a welcome boost to the sector.”
The project will receive funding from the Scottish Government and is part of Phase 1 of the Scottish Government’s Learning Estate Investment Programme (LEIP).
Gemma Boggs who heads up the Learning Estate Infrastructure team at the Scottish Futures Trust, said: “The new Learning Estate Investment Programme is delivering high quality, well maintained, digitally-enabled learning spaces that achieve ambitious energy targets. We are delighted to see the amount of progress being made on the first project in the programme. We will continue to work with all our partners to ensure this brand new learning campus will support the future needs of the Wallyford community and provide vibrant facilities for everyone to enjoy.”
East Lothian Council’s development partner Hub South East is undertaking project delivery and has appointed Morrison Construction as the contractor. Both organisations have developed a number of high quality facilities in the county including the award-winning Wallyford Primary School that neighbours the secondary school site.
Roddy Clark, Hub South East’s Operations Director, said: “I’m delighted to welcome colleagues from East Lothian Council and Scottish Government to see the progress being made on site for this exciting new learning campus. It’s a real demonstration of the partnership ethos of the Hub model that despite the constraints on major construction projects due to Covid-19, over the past 18 months we have worked together to successfully design, develop and begin building this new facility.
“After delivering the award winning Wallyford Primary School, we are proud to be entrusted to make the exciting plans for a secondary campus a reality. As well as providing a state of the art educational setting for staff and pupils, it will be a real collaborative asset for East Lothian, allowing the development of community, further education and business partnerships. With construction now well underway, the project will not only provide a number of jobs and training opportunities, but will deliver real social value and reinvestment in the local area.”
Philip Galbraith, Project Director for Morrison Construction, commented: “It was fantastic for the team here to receive a visit from the Education Secretary and the children to see the progress we are making so far, demonstrating just what a significant project this is to the local area.
“As a business, we have delivered a number of high-quality education projects across the region in partnership with East Lothian Council and Hub South East, and we look forward to maintaining that proud record here at Wallyford.”