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New funding for Welsh education infrastructure confirmed

23/11/2017 Kelly

The Welsh government has announced that it will be committing an extra £2.3 billion to finance the modernisation of the country's education infrastructure.

This second wave of investment in the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme will be provided to local authorities and further education institutions to address growing demand for Welsh-language education, as well as to tackle surplus capacity and inefficiencies in the system.

Key elements of this programme include the expansion of schools and colleges in areas of increased demand for educational services, while the condition of educational assets will be addressed and made available for community use where demand exists.

These Band B projects will be supported through two separate funding streams: one using traditional capital, and the other using revenue funding via a new form of public-private partnership called the Mutual Investment Model.

Band A of the programme will conclude in 2019 following the completion of £1.4 billion-worth of projects commenced over the last five years. The Welsh government will announce the details of individual Band B projects in conjunction with local authorities in the near future, and is committed to supporting all of these projects once their business cases have been approved.

Education secretary Kirsty Williams said: "We will work closely with our partners to agree the pace of delivery and put in place investment plans that are affordable and meet our shared ambition to create sustainable learning environments that meet the needs of our communities."

To date, the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme has represented the largest investment in Welsh schools and colleges since the 1960s, with more than 150 educational establishments having been refurbished or rebuilt as a result.

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