Government will look at run-down Helston College C-block
OFFICIALS in Government in London will now turn their attention to a run-down teaching block at Helston College.
It comes after a delegation from Cornwall travelled up to lobby the schools’ minister yesterday afternoon for a £10 million replacement to C-block at the college.
It was organised by MP Andrew George and included college headteacher Pat McGovern, Cornwall Council’s education director Trevor Doughty and portfolio holder Councillor Andrew Wallis.
They asked the minister, David Laws MP, to consider the school as a priority case for any cash from a £50 billion fund set up by the Government to support public sector infrastructure projects.
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Mr Laws said he would send a senior official from the Education Funding Agency to visit the college so it could be considered for funding.
The block, which was built in the 1950’s, is in a poor state of repair, with problems with its roof and walls.
A plan by Cornwall Council to replace it fell through when it was revealed this year that the authority did not have the money for the project.
Mr George said. “This was a positive meeting. The minister and his officials gave us a sympathetic hearing. I am especially pleased that he has decided to send senior officials from his department to the college to inspect and advise.
“Helston is my old school, but that’s not the reason why I believe that its need for capital investment is higher than others. That is also the view of Cornwall Council and I expect the Government to acknowledge that a multi-million pound investment is needed there.
Headteacher Dr McGovern added: “ I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet the minister and I am pleased with the support given by the local authority which has reinforced the clear message that we are working together to resolve this issue. This is a major step forward.”
Mr Wallis said: “This is one of our highest achieving schools and, like all students in Cornwall, its young people deserve to be taught in high quality buildings.
“Everyone agrees that the issues with C-block need to be addressed as quickly as possible and I am pleased that the minister has recognised the seriousness of the situation and has agreed to send one of his senior officials to Cornwall to inspect the problem for themselves.”