Falkirk Council say early year projects will be completed
Falkirk Council has pledged that work will go ahead on two vital early years projects, despite costs soaring due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The work on Denny and Maddiston nurseries was on track to be completed by August – until Covid-19 restrictions put construction work on hold.
Maddiston Primary School’s Early Years & Childcare Centre – which has a capacity for 88 pupils – is just part of a £4 million project to extend the school.
Members of Falkirk Council’s executive heard that the lowest tender for the work on the ELCC alone was £2.5 million – around £300,000 higher than initially estimated.
Councillors heard that while the COVID situation has resulted in cost pressure, “the urgent requirement for this work to commence on site as soon as possible cannot be overlooked”.
Work to transform Denny Primary School will also cost nearly £1 million more than first anticipated.
The project intends to extend the former Community Learning Development (CLD) property to provide a nursery class with a capacity for 80 children.
Again, this is just one part of the school expansion which initially had a construction budget of £2.7 million.
The initial tender for the overall project was £3.6 million, but following some re-design is now £3.3 million.
The ELC part will now be £1.3 million – a substantial increase on the £800,000 originally allocated.
Councillors agreed to use money from this year’s capital programme which has an underspend as several projects have been postponed due to Covid.
This will be repaid next year from ELC funds.
All nursery projects to ensure all children will receive 1140 hours of nursery education will now have to be completed by next August.
Councillor Adanna McCue, the SNP’s education spokesperson, said: “It’s sad that we were on track until Covid hit us but we can see there is a full recovery underway.”
The early years project will create a total of 540 new jobs in the Falkirk Council area, which were welcomed by Ms McCue.
“In this climate, that’s a fantastic achievement,” she said.
“Not only have we created those 540 posts but there will be extra staff like caretaking and cleaning who will be needed and that is fantastic.”