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£8m funding for Shropshire schools and business projects set to be approved

By Dominic Robertson | Shrewsbury | Politics | Published:

Councillors are set to agree more than £8 million of funding towards two new schools and a major innovation park.

Shropshire Council is being asked to approve the contribution at a meeting next week.

The money, which comes from the community infrastructure levy fund, will be split with £5.9m going towards the school projects in Shrewsbury, and £2.1m going towards infrastructure work relating to Oswestry's Innovation Park and Mile End roundabout.

The £5m contribution for schools is part of a bigger £27.2m investment in education in Shrewsbury.

It will see increased primary places in the north of the town, centred on the Haughmond Federation of schools.

The proposal will see Sundorne Nursery and Infant School move to the Harlescott Junior School site on Featherbed Lane.

There will also be the creation of a new mainstream school in west Shrewsbury on a site in Bowbrook. It will be co-located with a new special school, with the construction of the latter being funded by the Department for Education.

Extra secondary school places will also be created by building a new five classroom teaching block at Meole Brace School.

The land for the Bowbrook schools has been given to the council by developers building homes on the west side of Shrewsbury, and the proposal was approved by the authority in September last year.

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Speaking at the time Councillor Ed Potter, portfolio holder for children's services, said: "This is very positive news for the young people and young families in the area."

So far the council has also secured £16m from other sources towards the Oswestry Innovation Park project – described as key to the town's economic future.

CIL money is collected from developers as part of the permission for building projects – it is intended to reduce the burden on local authorities for providing the infrastructure needed to go along side developments.

The report, from the council's executive director of place, Mark Barrow, states: "New development can impose a significant burden on existing facilities, services and infrastructure, including those which are the responsibility of Shropshire Council.

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"Whilst substantial sums are collected annually from developer contributions, including CIL and Section 106, these amounts are highly unlikely to be able to support all identified infrastructure improvements.

"It is therefore essential that this revenue is prioritised and used effectively for investment in infrastructure for which no other funding sources are available."

So far the council has collected around £36m in CIL funding, and says around £5m has been passed to town and community councils.

Previous funding has been set aside for projects such as the Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package.

The recommendation will be discussed at the full meeting of Shropshire Council on July 16.

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