Welsh Finance and Government Business Minister Jane Hutt has announced £500 million (US$782 million) of innovative new investment for the next phase of the 21st Century Schools Programme, starting in 2019.
The 21st Century School Programme is designed to deliver the Welsh Government's vision of providing a first-class education in world class settings to all learners in Wales.
Speaking during a plenary debate on the draft budget 2015-16, the Minister confirmed the £500 million investment would be made using the Non-profit Distributing (NPD) investment model, adding to an NPD pipeline in Wales that already includes redevelopment of the Velindre cancer centre, and dualling of sections 5 and 6 of the A465. The next phase of the 21st Century Schools Programme, Band B, will begin following the completion of Band A in 2018-19.
This new investment in the 21st Century Schools Programme is in addition to the £170 million of innovative funding through the Local Government Borrowing Initiative, which is already accelerating the delivery of Band A of the programme by two years.
Jane Hutt stated:
"The next phase of the 21st Century Schools programme will commence from 2019 and work will now begin to plan and prepare this second phase of investment, which will see half a billion pounds raised using the NPD model. We will continue to work with Local Authorities and the WLGA to ensure that we achieve the outcomes we all want - to continue to improve the quality of learning environments while achieving greater economy from the use of our assets."
Jane Hutt added:
"Our unanimous vote in favour of the motion calling for talks on fair funding to begin immediately, with the goal of securing rapid implementation of a funding floor, has sent a clear and unified message. I look forward to progressing those talks with the UK Government."
We have recently reported about other school program in the UK, the Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP). Two weeks ago Amber Consortium reached commercial close on the funding scheme for five batches of schools being delivered through the PSBP. The five batches are the following: