The failure of the Scottish Government to fully commit to providing financial support for all of phase 2 of Dumfries Learning Town is a “betrayal”, according to South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.
Last week the Scottish Government refused funding to support the refurbishment of Dumfries Academy and the relocation of Loreburn Primary, both of which have serious maintenance issues. Government support has been limited to partially funding a replacement for Dumfries High School.
Phase 1 was to overhaul St Joseph’s College and build the new North West Community Campus and The Bridge learning hub, which has been completed. The Bridge had to be fully funded by Dumfries and Galloway Council when the Scottish Government refused to provide support because they didn’t agree with the location.
The second phase – costing nearly £70m – would see Dumfries High School replaced, Dumfries Academy refurbished and Loreburn Primary relocated to the Academy’s Minerva Hall building.
Colin Smyth said: “The failure of the Scottish Government to invest in Dumfries Academy and Loreburn Primary is a real betrayal of the community. The government has never been fully committed to Dumfries Learning Town and this is just further proof.
“We know Loreburn Primary and Dumfries Academy are increasingly no longer fit for purpose and teachers, parents and pupils in Dumfries are being seriously let down by the Scottish Government.
“Fortunately, Dumfries and Galloway Council share my concerns over the lack of Government support and has committed to investigating alternative funding for the Dumfries Academy and Loreburn Primary projects and I fully welcome that. It’s vital that it is carried out quickly and a commitment given to parents, pupils and teachers at both schools that they won’t be left behind as a result of the Government’s decision.
“Schools should be safe, secure places where all children and young people can fully embrace their learning journeys and that means fit for purpose buildings, a fact the Scottish Government seems to have ignored in this case.”