New Banchory campus a priority for SNP candidate

Calls have been made for a new Banchory Academy to be given top priority in the next round of Schools for the Future funding.

Thursday, 25th February 2021, 7:52 am
Updated Thursday, 25th February 2021, 7:56 am
A new Banchory Campus is a priority for SNP candidiate Fergus Mutch (inset)

The existing school buildings pre-date significant housing development in the Deeside town.

The council recently filled in the school swimming pool to create additional learning space — but it’s become increasingly clear that a new, purpose-built school on a far bigger scale, with onsite community facilities, is required.

In 2016, Banchory Academy was ranked the worst secondary school building in Aberdeenshire in terms of suitability to deliver the curriculum, falling below the old Inverurie Academy which has now been replaced.

A local survey conducted by the SNP over recent weeks showed replacing Banchory Academy as the number one priority issue for the town’s residents.

And now t he SNP’s Fergus Mutch has reignited calls for a new Banchory Academy, and committed to pushing that case if elected in May.

He said: “Banchory is one for the best performing schools in Scotland, with hardworking and talented staff who have gone above and beyond over this past year. But if we want the next generation of local kids to have the best possible chances to succeed then we need a better place for them to learn.

“The current building is outdated, and no longer fit for purpose.

“We know it’s the number one concern among local families, and there’s a real sense of urgency to get moving with plans for a modern school that will serve the whole community.

“The new £37 million Alford campus shows the scale of what can be achieved and the huge benefits for pupils, staff, parents and local residents alike. The SNP’s Schools for the Future fund has helped to transform or rebuild almost 1000 schools across the country, benefitting so many children. Banchory should be next in line."

Local SNP councillor for Banchory & Mid-Deeside, Eileen Durno, added: "I went to Banchory Academy, and so did my kids. It's a great school, but a new building is badly needed.

"I know how important this issue is to the community I represent, and I look forward to working with council colleagues and hopefully our new MSP to make it a reality."