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Schools Capital Funding (2009-10)

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

I am today announcing that £919 million of capital spending on schools and children’s play areas will be brought forward from 2010-11 to 2009-10.

Of the total, £499 million is allocated among 116 local authorities. These authorities bid to have expenditure brought forward in response to an invitation we issued following last November’s pre-Budget report.

Some £390 million of capital funding devolved direct to all schools in England is also being brought forward to invest in smaller projects as they see fit. In addition, £30 million of investment in play facilities is being brought forward.

Bringing forward capital spending is a key plank of the Government’s fiscal stimulus package to boost the economy in the current downturn. It means that thousands of school modernisation projects across England can start 12 months early.

The full details of today’s capital acceleration package are:

£499 million allocated to 116 local authorities who bid for the capital made available in the pre-Budget report to be brought forward from 2010-11 to 2009-11 (all the authorities’ bids within the terms of the offer have been accepted). The allocation comprises:

£235 million for Local Authority Modernisation Grant

£76 million for Primary Capital Programme

£50 million for Locally Controlled Voluntarily Aided Programme

£138 million for Targeted Capital Fund for 14-19, SEN and disabilities fund.

£390 million being allocated a year early direct to every school in the country—bringing forward 40 per cent. of all indicative Devolved Formula Capital allocations for 2010-11 to 2009-10. It means:

a typical unmodernised primary school of 250 pupils will now get £47,600 this year, including £13,600 brought forward from its 2010-11 allocation. A primary school newly built, rebuilt or refurbished in the last eleven years will now get £23,800—up from £17,000.

a typical unmodernised secondary school of 1000 pupils will now get £158,200, including £45,200 brought forward. A secondary school newly built, rebuilt or refurbished in the last eleven years will now get £79,100—up from £56,000.

£30 million of investment for play facilities brought forward from 2010-11 to 2009-10.

All accelerated spending will be taken off the 2010-11 local authority and school allocations.

The 2008-11 local authority capital settlement in October 2007 set out that £6,669 million would be invested in 2008-09; £7,024 million in 2009-10 and £8,235 million in 2010-11. The revised national figures for 2009-10 and 2010-11 are now: £7,943 million and £7,316 million. This is a significant real-terms increase from just £700 million a year in 1997.

Capital allocations remain available for all local authorities to bring forward, including the 33 local authorities who have chosen not to bid so far.

The relevant table has been placed in the library.