Next steps for Brechin High School campus

Plans for the new Brechin High School development look likely to take another step forward on Thursday (tomorrow), although work may be slightly behind schedule.

Angus Council’s neighbourhood services committee will meet to discuss feedback from the consultation exercise with the Brechin community to help determine the extent of services to be provided on the Brechin High School campus.

A joint report by the director of education and director of neighbourhood services has outlined the next steps of the project.

The report states that council officers are still working to the indicative timetable agreed in October 2010, which outlines that stage two of the project, procurement of hub company would start in early March 2011 and finish at the end of August 2011.

It is now understood that procurement of the East Central Territory hub company has now slipped until the end of the year with the appointment of the private sector development partner likely to be around December 2011.

The report states: “Members (of the committees) should, therefore, be aware that this slippage, together with the potential implications of the funding change, may well have an impact on the original programme.

“The project timetable will be updated in a future report of the educational committee, once further information is available in relation to the procurement of the hub company and the funding implications are more fully understood.”

Despite the potential set backs the committees will now develop the project design brief in detail, including the proposed scope of the “community campus”.

To do this they will establish what can be achieved from the total £24 million funding package (or revenue equivalent), including the extra £697,000 to support the “community campus” approach.

To establish the full implications of the change of funding for the project from capital to revenue funding the committees will continue to engage with the Scottish Government and Scottish Futures Trust officials.

To support the community campus approach the committees will develop operational and management arrangements.

Also on the agenda for the coming months will be an investigation into public transport arrangements and the potential for improved services to support access to the community campus.

The committees will also examine in further details the likely operational revenue implications relating to the community campus.

Finally, consultation work recently undertaken will be built on by continuing to engage in further dialogue with school pupils, staff, parent councils and potential community user groups to explore their requirements for the new facilities.

It is also recommended that the neighbourhood services committee approve in principle arrangements for the director of neighbourhood services to explore the option of the Damacre Centre becoming a “community owned and managed service centre”.

The Damacre Centre would be surplus to requirements by the Education Department if the Community Learning and Development service was to be operated from the new community campus.