23 February
Artist impression of proposed new primary school for the Hawkhill area of Winchburgh.

The vast majority of this funding (£55.8 million) will be focused on improving West Lothian's school estate to provide pupils with the best possible facilities for learning, which represents 74% of the available total capital funding dedicated to education.

Priorities for school investment for 2024/25 will include brand new primary schools in Livingston, East Calder and Winchburgh, and significant planned extensions for West Calder High School and Calderwood Primary in East Calder.

An updated Asset Management Strategy and General Services Capital Programme up to 2032/33 has been approved on 22 February 2024, which will see planned total investment of around £260 million over the next nine years. 

This is an update to the council's ten-year capital investment programme, which was approved in February 2023 to focus on priority areas for investment.

Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: "I'm delighted to approve this capital budget, which makes the best use of our limited funds to deliver the maximum benefits for West Lothian residents. 

"There is a risk of ongoing reductions in capital grant funding provided from the Scottish Government which means we will need to continue to review the affordability of our planning assumptions over future years.

"Taking account of this, we have to focus on our priorities to ensure we have the right facilities and equipment in place to allow our dedicated staff to deliver the essential services that West Lothian residents rely on.

"The majority of our investment is rightly focused on schools and education, providing the best school estate we can to support our amazing school pupils, who continue to consistently punch above their weight in exam results and other attainment measures for over a decade now. 

"We hope this approach will help ensure our young people have the best possible opportunities for success, benefiting West Lothian for many years to come."

Education investment

A total of £62.4 million will be invested in property during 2024/25, which includes £55.8 million spent on improving West Lothian's school estate. 

Developer contributions make up £28.6 million of this funding, with house builders legally required to make when building new homes in the area. This will support investment in 2024/25 including:

  • £8.6 million towards a new school at Hawkhill in Winchburgh;
  • £8.6 million towards a planned extension for West Calder High;
  • £4 million towards a planned extension to Calderwood Primary in East Calder;
  • £3 million for an extension at Winchburgh Primary; and
  • £2.7 for an extension for St Paul's Primary in East Calder. 

Other education capital projects in 2024/25 include:

  • £16.7 million to mitigate the impact of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) across the school estate;
  • £7.5 million towards the new East Calder Primary;
  • £4 million for planned improvement and statutory compliance works across the council's estate such as boiler replacements, electrical upgrades and roof repairs; and
  • £3 million towards the new primary for Craigshill to replace Riverside and Letham.

Other investment

Roads and related assets will receive £7.8 million of investment, including:

  • £2 million on roads and footways;
  • £1.6 million on street lighting;
  • £1.5 million for structures such as bridge maintenance;
  • £1.4 million for roads projects;
  • £0.8 million for town centres and villages improvement fund; and
  • £0.5 million on flood prevention and drainage.

A further £3 million will be invested on open space and sports facility projects, including parks, woodlands, cemeteries, play areas and paths, while £1.8 million on information and communication technology which is required for the delivery of council services.

A total of £1.2 million has been allocated for a new purpose-built Whitrigg House in Whitburn to provide residential services for young people.

Future capital investment

There remains a risk that funds available for capital investment could be significantly reduced from 2025 onwards, which is a direct result of reduced capital grant funding from the Scottish Government.

The council has specially requested that the Scottish Government provides additional £15 million funding for major reconstruction at St. Kentigern's Academy in Blackburn due to RAAC.