Boris Johnson today pledges £1.7billion for rebuilding the nation’s schools in a drive to kick-start the economic recovery with a construction boom. The Prime Minister is to unleash Treasury spending on improvements and upgrades to the most dilapidated classrooms, gyms and other teaching accommodation as the first step in a 10-year education investment programme.
And his cash injection will be the first in a barrage of measures to help Britain “build, build, build” its way out of the downturn caused by the coronavirus lockdown. Mr Johnson said: “All children deserve the best possible start in life – regardless of their background or where they live. As we bounce back from the pandemic, its important we lay the foundations for a country where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, with our younger generations front and centre of this mission
“This major new investment will make sure our schools and colleges are fit for the future, with better facilities and brand new buildings so that every child gets a world-class education.”
Key spending commitments to be announced today include £560million for urgent repairs to school buildings to be carried out this year.
A further £200million of spending on upgrades to further education colleges announced in the Spring Budget will also be rushed forward to start as soon as possible.
And a further £1billion will be earmarked for 50 major school rebuilding projects to begin in September next year.
Whitehall insiders expect much of the cash to be spent in the North of England and the Midlands, where the Tories made spectacular gains from Labour at last years general election.
One Government source said: “These plans are a clear step forward in delivering on the Prime Ministers agenda to get building and level-up the country.”
Full details of the proposals are to be announced in a Treasury spending review expected this autumn.
Mr Johnson is also set to pledge billions more for investing in building new hospitals and other large-scale infrastructure projects in a keynote policy speech tomorrow.