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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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£5m pledge to kick-start new campus

A £5MILLION cash boost could be on the cards to help kick-start funding for a major educational village for Whitehaven.

twknowles tim
discussions: Tim Knowles

By Sarah Robinson

A feasibility study is under way to find out whether it will be possible to have three schools – The Whitehaven Academy, St Benedict’s and Mayfield School – on one state-of-the-art site.

And The Whitehaven News understands that if the feasibility study results are positive, Copeland Community Fund (CCF) may inject £5million into the multi-million pound building scheme. This could unlock further funding from other interested parties.

Tim Knowles, chair of the Copeland Community Fund board, said: “The creation of a new, first class educational campus in Whitehaven is a key objective which must be achieved. It is true that discussions have been held with those organisations who provide finance in our area, to see whether substantial core funding can be raised for its development as part of the feasibility work now being done.

“CCF, as its name implies, exists to assist Copeland’s communities and it is true that our Board is in initial discussions with partners regarding support for that project.”

A Cumbria County Council spokesman confirmed CCF’s interest in the project. He said: “The partners involved in the Whitehaven Education Campus project have begun discussions with CCF about their possible involvement. These discussions are in their early stages.

“The ‘desk-top’ element of feasibility studies are now under way, but until the full studies are completed it is not possible to establish firm costs for the project, and thus the potential level of financial contributions from different partners. Further announcements are likely in the summer.”

The £500,000 feasibility study is being funded by Cumbria County Council and nuclear partners. Currently The Whitehaven Academy and St Benedict’s sites are being looked at, but there is the potential for others to be considered if they become available. The studies are expected to take around four to five months.

Numerous partners including the county council, nuclear partners, the schools, Bright Tribe Trust, MP Jamie Reed and Copeland Council are on board with the vision, for new buildings for each school on the same site. They would operate independently but share specialist areas and community sports and leisure facilities.

Have your say

Charlie - if you want the half million, you have to work for up to 5 months for it marra.
Is it really worth it, that's only 100k per month. Better just get a job at Sellafield.

Posted by Anne Onimuss on 25 April 2014 at 19:12

More pipedreams

Posted by Sally on 25 April 2014 at 15:57

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