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Significant cost growth for school maintenance and repairs in Pembrokeshire

A review of Pembrokeshire council’s current 21st Century Schools projects has shown “significant cost growth.”

An Office of Government Commerce gateway review (strategic assessment) was carried out in March and found the band B programme to be “progressing well” but cost increases could mean projects are not delivered within the “affordability envelope.”

The projects include Haverfordwest High’s new build, the refurbishment of Milford Haven School and the early stage plans for Milford Haven primary schools.

The review, which follows a similar one in 2018, has provided a ‘delivery confidence assessment’ of amber.

The inclusion of leisure facilities at Haverfordwest High has increased costs and came late in the plans which could impact delivery, a report to full council on July 16 states.

It adds that Milford Haven School is in “significantly worse repair than had been anticipated” which will increase costs and has led to a new build being preferred.

Band B projects also include Haverfordwest primary schools, with funding for Waldo Williams carried over from Band A, Milford’s Learning Resource Centre and Portfield Special School.

The report to full council adds that costs at Waldo Williams has also increased due to the state of the buildings from around £1million to £2.5million.

The budget for the band B projects is £106.4million with £48.7million for Haverfordwest High, £36.6million for Milford secondary and £9million for its primary schools, which is increasing according to the report.

In his notes to the review, director of finance Jon Haswell, said that governance structures and arrangements were not being “strictly adhered” to risking delays.

“Delivery of the planned 21st Century Schools Band B programme within the £106.4m budget will be challenging, primarily due to the rising costs of the Milford Haven Secondary and Primary School projects,” he adds.

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