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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Ulverston School secures £3m to revamp elderly buildings

AGEING buildings at an Ulverston school are set to be given a new lease of life thanks to a £3m cash injection.

By Paul Berentzen

A long campaign to win funding for maintenance work at Ulverston Victoria High School has paid off after the money was set aside by Cumbria County Council.

The money will be used to update the existing buildings and make them more sustainable.

Headteacher at the school Denis Fay welcomed the investment and praised the work of county councillors James Airey and Peter Hornby in helping to secure the funding.

Mr Fay said: “We have got no shortage of things to spend it on.”

The school has not yet decided how it will spend the money, but a number of key areas have been highlighted for improvement, including an old boiler and windows dating back to the 1930s.

It is hoped the investment will bring down the running costs of the school, making it more efficient in the long-term.

Mr Fay added: “We appreciate that every penny has to go a long way these days.

“We will prove ourselves worthy of the trust the local authority has placed in the school in providing us with these funds.”

Deputy headteacher John Griffiths said the money will help the school push forward in its efforts to go beyond outstanding – the highest rating a school can be given by regulatory board Ofsted.

He said: “It is a massive thing for us to have this investment – the building is 80-something years old and needs some tender loving care.”

Cllr Airey said the investment was the result of many years of lobbying by the school and councillors.

He added: “It is fantastic news for Ulverston and for the school.

“We are trying to bring the building up to the calibre of what they are teaching.”

Cllr Hornby, also a governor at the school, added: “We can maintain the school if we get it in the right condition.”

The funding has been agreed to in principle and set aside in the council’s draft budget, due to formally approved in February.

The school anticipates it will be able to start work on the building in the summer.

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