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Bay Learning Trust awarded £4.9m to upgrade school facilities

Morecambe Bay Academy

Four Lancaster and Morecambe secondary schools are set to receive fantastic new facilities after The Bay Learning Trust was awarded £4.9 million in government funding to improve facilities.

The trust, which manages four schools across the area, Morecambe Bay Academy, Central Lancaster High School, Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy and Carnforth High School, was awarded the money as part of the Government’s Condition Improvement Fund.

The money is set to improve facilities across all four schools, most notably with new science laboratories to be built at Morecambe Bay Academy, plus new classrooms to be built at Central Lancaster High School. Carnforth High School will benefit from replacement doors and windows to fix leaks and improve energy performance, while Ripley St Thomas will also receive fire safety improvements.

The four schools are the only ones across Lancaster and Morecambe to receive the funding. For Morecambe Bay Academy, the funding follows over £5 million worth of capital investment since joining the Bay Learning Trust in 2019, including a new arts and music centre which opened last year.

Professor John Crewdson, Chair of Trustees at The Bay Learning Trust said: “This funding helps to progress our plans to bring modern facilities to our family of schools across Lancaster and Morecambe.

“We will never stop working to improve our schools and the standard of education that our pupils receive. We hope that new laboratories at Morecambe Bay Academy will help teach and inspire the scientists of the future. Along with our new leadership team and the recently opened art and music block, the future is very bright for pupils attending the school.

“For our other schools, this funding will help to ensure that they are in the best possible condition for learners and marks another milestone of positive progress for secondary education across the area.”

In total, £483 million from the Condition Improvement Fund will go to 1,199 schools. The North East and North West are set to receive the largest allocation of funding across all the English regions, with £93 million for 273 successful schools.

Schools Minister Baroness Berridge said: “Alongside our ambitious rebuilding programme for schools over the next decade, this government is making sure children learn in the best possible environments. Providing every school with the financial support it needs to build back better for its students.

“Schools are the centres of our communities and both pupils and staff need to have up-to-date classrooms to learn and work in, that’s why the government is spending £1.8 Billion this year alone to improve school buildings.”

Site inspections and detailed planning work is already under way at the schools, with work expected to start around October 2021.

The new classrooms at Morecambe Bay Academy and Central Lancaster High School are expected to open to pupils in time for the start of the 2022-23 academic year.

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