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£390 million to be invested in council assets

An ambitious programme to invest almost £390 million in West Lothian's assets over the next ten years has been approved.

West Lothian Council has agreed to an updated Corporate Asset Management Strategy and Capital Investment Strategy that will support the delivery of essential council services for the next decade and beyond.

This includes over £265.8 million to be invested in maintaining and improving West Lothian's property assets, such as £200 million for schools and £6 million for new partnership centres, which will reduce running costs by rationalising buildings.

Other investment includes: £72 million of planned spend on our roads, footpaths and related assets; £33.2 million for vital information and communication technology (ICT) assets; and £17.6 million invested on maintaining and improving open spaces such as sports facilities, play parks and woodlands.

Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: "I'm delighted that we have approved a long-term capital investment programme that will support the delivery of vital council services, now and in the future.

"It's essential we invest in our assets to ensure we are able to deliver the services that West Lothian residents rely on.

"This capital budget rightly focuses on schools, with £200 million of planned investment to ensure West Lothian continues to have one of the best school estates in the country, giving our young people a top quality platform for learning.

"It's essential we invest wisely to support the delivery of vital services, especially at a time when council budgets are being reduced."

The £200 million investment in education infrastructure is planned in the next ten years will help meet the rising demands in this area.  Planned major projects include: new primary schools in Broxburn, Bangour, Calderwood and Gavieside; £15.4million to expand nursery places to meet demand; as well as a number of school extensions.

A total of £18.5 million is also being invested in Additional Support Needs (ASN) schools, including £6million for a new Cedarbank School, which will increase specialist provision and support the projected growth in pupils with ASN.

A £1 million Community Property Modernisation fund will also be created to help support and empower communities looking to take responsibility for local facilities.

West Lothian's road and footpath network is one of the best in Scotland, and £26.5 million has been allocated over the next ten years to make sure this is maintained. A further £26.5 million will be invested to replace street lighting and traffic signals, £13.9million to maintain our bridges and £5 million for flood prevention at Liggat Syke in Broxburn.

Technology plays a major role in efficient delivery of customer-focused council services and £33.2 million will be invested to modernise council assets in this area, such as IT devices and software, connectivity and infrastructure including storage, servers, wireless and security.

Open Space investment will see £12.9 of proposed spending planned improvements to sports facilities and functional open spaces, and £2.6 million to replace and renew the equipment in council play areas across West Lothian.