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Delight as new Tain school campus makes it on to Scottish Government funding list

By Hector MacKenzie

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Locator - Tain Royal Academy ...Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No. 026670.
Locator - Tain Royal Academy ...Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No. 026670.

LONG-awaited plans for a new school campus in Tain will secure funding from the Scottish Government, it was confirmed today.

The multimillion-pound project to replace sub-standard buildings with a new campus catering for three to 18 years olds in Tain and the surrounding area has been included on the latest list of projects sanctioned by the Scottish Government.

The campus including replacements for Tain Royal Academy, Knockbreck Primary School, Craighill Primary School and St Duthus School, was put forward as Highland Council's top priority for the latest tranche of funding.

The announcement follows a visit to the area last month by Education Secretary John Swinney who acknowledged deficiencies in existing school infrastructure.

The Scottish Government will contribute funding of between £220 million and £275 million in partnership with local authorities across the country to replace 26 schools, with a further phase of investment to be announced within 12 months.

Local MSP gail Ross, amongst several politicians to have visited Tain to hear about local aspirations for better facilities, welcomed today's news. She said: "I’m absolutely delighted for the pupils in Tain and their feeder schools. Children and young people in Easter Ross and Sutherland have spent far too long learning in conditions that didn’t suit modern day learning and teaching and were cold, leaking and of a very poor standard.”

“Last week, the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP and I spent the day with the pupils of Tain Royal Academy, who stressed to him the importance of a modern and quality learning environment. They told us how they felt that attainment and behaviour would improve and the school community, which Tain Royal Academy was famed for in the past, could be restored to a positive, inclusive and caring one.

"Primary school pupils and pupils who attend St Duthus School will also benefit from their new campus, at the heart of their community, where we can ensure all children can get the best start in their lives.”

The first projects in this phase could open as soon as 2022-23.

A site at Craighill Primary in Tain has been selected by Highland Council following public consultation.

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