New £48.5 million school campus for Wick
15th July 2014
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today broke the ground on the new £48.5 million Wick Community Campus.
The facility, which will replace Wick High School, Pulteneytown Academy Primary School, and South Primary School, is part of Scotland's Schools for the Future programme and will receive more than £17 million from the Scottish Government. The campus will also house a swimming pool and library.
The project will create up to 300 construction jobs with many opportunities for local employment. Eighty per cent of the build will be delivered by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with a value of £40 million.
The Scottish Government Cabinet visited Caithness and hosted a public Q&A in Wick ahead of the construction work starting.
The Deputy First Minister, who performed the sod cutting at the new site, said:"I’m delighted to be in Wick to mark this important milestone for this new school campus and I am confident it will be a fantastic addition to the local community when it is completed in the summer of 2016.
“The Scottish Government is committed to delivering good quality, well designed, sustainable schools through the Schools for the Future programme and we were pleased to award £17.2 million funding for the construction of this school.
“Having seen the plans for the new school, I am heartened to see that The Highland Council has worked in collaboration with Scottish Futures Trust to deliver a school that is innovative, value for money and will provide an excellent environment for pupils to learn in for many years to come.
“In addition to the educational benefits, this project will be a welcome boost to the local economy, creating apprenticeship opportunities for young people and construction jobs in Caithness."
Caithness Civic Leader and Vice Chair of The Highland Council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee, Councillor Gail Ross said:"Finally we are at the stage when work can begin on the new campus. This is a very exciting day for Wick and is the start of the much anticipated work that will provide Wick with an education service to be rightly proud of.
“The collaboration between The Highland Council, hub North Scotland Ltd and the Scottish Futures Trust has proved to be a success and we are very proud of everyone that has worked so hard to bring this to fruition.
“I'm delighted that the Deputy First Minister is here to cut the first turf. The Scottish Government has shown they are willing to invest in Caithness and we welcome her and other members of the cabinet to Wick."
Gemma Boggs, schools programme director at Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), explained:“I am delighted that the Wick Campus has reached such a significant milestone. Importantly, SFT's work across the Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) programme means that pupils, teachers and the community alike will reap the benefits of first-class education and community facilities sooner, as the NPD programme allows construction to start earlier rather than waiting for traditional capital funding to become available.
“Work starting on the campus will be welcome news to many local SMEs in the building industry. The project will provide a massive boost to the number of work-placements, apprenticeships and training opportunities that will be created through the delivery partner, hub North Scotland Ltd.”