KIRKHOPE and Yarrow primary schools are in line for major upgrades to their kitchen facilities, at a total cost of £44,000.
As well as £28,000 for Yarrow Primary and £16,000 for Kirkhope, Eccles school will get £26,000 and another £40,000 will be spent on a primary school dishwasher programme – the latter including Philiphaugh Primary.
This week’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council executive approved the cash, which means the schools will be able to prepare food on site rather than having it produced elsewhere and then ferried by taxi for over an hour before it is actually consumed.
On-site production will not only improve the quality, temperature and taste of the food, but also save around £30,000 annually in taxi fares.
News of the kitchen upgrades, which will be done during the summer holidays, comes the same week it was decided to close another valley primary, at Ettrick, due to a lack of pupils.
SBC executive member for education, Sandy Aitchison (Galashiels & District, Borders Party), said he hoped news of the investment would go, at least, some very small way towards making up for that sad situation.
“Anything which improves the fabric and facilities of these schools is good news. And I take the point that Catriona Bhatia [Tweeddale West, LD] made at the meeting of the executive, about such facilities being used more by their local communities. This is certainly something on my agenda and hopefully these new kitchens will benefit not just the schools, but their communities also,” he said.
Selkirkshire councillors Gordon Edgar (Ind) and Vicky Davidson (LD) are also both delighted at the investment.
“As well as being an efficiency step, it’s better for the youngsters to have the food prepared fresh on the school premises,” said Mr Edgar. “Hopefully, the offshoot will be that the wider community can benefit through their use at functions.”
Ms Davidson added: “The food for Kirkhope school has been cooked at Knowepark school since even I was a pupil at Knowepark, so this is fantastic news.”
Ettrick school closure, page 3