Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, is proud to have helped secure nearly £600,000 of Government support for upgrades to the fire compliance requirements at Uplands Academy in Wadhurst.
The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) is an annual fund which the Department for Education has been administering for several years. The core priority of the fund is to keep school buildings safe and in good working order by supporting upgrades to building condition and compliance, energy efficiency and health and safety.
In total, 873 academies, sixth-form colleges and voluntary aided schools will receive a share of £467 million from the 2023-2024 round of the fund, which will support 1,058 projects.
Beacon Academy in Crowborough was of the successful applicants in this round, securing support for further improvements to its fire alarm system worth circa £1.5 million. Following a rigorous appeals process, Uplands Academy in Wadhurst, which is part of the MARK Education Trust together with Beacon Academy, has now also been awarded over £572,133 to carry out similar upgrades.
Nusrat has previously been instrumental in supporting Beacon Academy in securing over £1.3m in 2021 to keep their buildings safe and in good working order. Additionally, Hailsham Community College and St Mary's School in Maynard's Green were also successful in securing support from this fund last year.
Nusrat Ghani said: “I am absolutely thrilled that two fantastic Wealden schools, Beacon Academy and Uplands Academy, will benefit from a share of over £2m Government funding to improve the safety of their buildings. I am pleased that persistence and perseverance has helped deliver this boost to Crowborough and Wadhurst, and that Wealden students can thrive in an improved learning environment and better facilities. The result of the latest round of CIF is a great win for the leaders of the MARK Education Trust and I will continue campaigning for more funding for other Wealden schools in need of this vital support.”
Anna Robinson, Executive Headteacher of Beacon Academy and Uplands Academy and CEO of MARK Education Trust said: “We are delighted and relieved to have won our appeal to secure the much-needed funding to update the fire compliance requirements at Uplands Academy. This alongside the two bids for fire compliance at Beacon Academy will make a significant difference to maintaining safe and secure environments in both of our schools. As ever, I and our trust board would like to thank Nusrat for her unrelenting support throughout the bidding process - works are already beginning in both of our schools as a result of this funding.”
Cllr Bob Standley, Lead Member for Education at East Sussex County Council said: “It is great news that both Uplands and Beacon Academy have been awarded funds to improve their buildings. Ensuring the schools update their fire safety systems is rightly a priority and I welcome the government funding for the projects.”