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MP's bid for extra cash to fund school move.

Byline: Brian Daniel North Northumberland reporter

ANORTHUMBERLAND MP is to meet the education minister to push for additional funding for the relocation of a school.

Sir Alan Beith, Liberal Democrat for Berwick, is to hold talks with schools minister David Laws about the possibility of further Government funding in relation to the plans to rebuild Alnwick's Duchess's Community High School on a new site.

e minister has indicated he will "consider" providing additional funding, with the government having already agreed to provide money for the new build.

Sir Alan has also put pressure on Northumberland County Council to consider funding areas the government money will not cover - furniture, ttings and IT equipment.

e county council bid to the government's PS2bn Priority School Building Programme in October 2011 for a new high school for Alnwick, following years of campaigning to replace the Duchess's crumbling buildings.

e bid also covered new builds at Bedlington and Prudhoe.

In May 2012, it was announced that all would be given funding, with Alnwick and Bedlington given money in the rst round.

Council leaders pledged shortly afterwards that they would plug any funding gap.

It later emerged that the pledged money would not cover several aspects of the rebuild projects.

Council bosses subsequently agreed the authority should provide the capital for some works and to oer loans to the schools for the cost of equipment and furniture.

Now Sir Alan has asked Mr Laws for a meeting to push for additional funding for those areas.

Speaking in the House of Commons, he said: "Although the Government's commitment to rebuild the Duchess's community high school in Alnwick is very welcome, the problem of furnishing a new-build school is arising there.

"Will the minister discuss with me how we can meet that problem?" e minister replied: "I will be happy to have those discussions."

Sir Alan added: "I have also taken this up with Northumberland County Council to see what contribution can be made from council funds."

A spokesman for the council said it had written to Sir Alan informing him that the matter is to be discussed at its forthcoming meeting with the school's chairman of governors.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 23, 2014
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