THE MP for Portsmouth North has said she hopes plans to redevelop a crumbling city school can be brought forward.
Plans were announced years ago to redevelop King Richard School in Paulsgrove thanks to the Building Schools for the Future project.
But when that was axed by the government, the project was cancelled.
However, a further £9m has been allocated to the school through the Priority School Building Programme.
Now, Penny Mordaunt is hoping to persuade the government to give the money early so work can start next summer – 12 months earlier than planned.
‘There is money allocated to it but it’s in future years so we aren’t going to get anything currently to happen before 2015,’ she said.
‘That’s too late. So we wanted to present a case to move that money forward.
‘We want to start rebuilding the school in the summer of next year.’
In recent years, the school has been forced to spend money carrying out repairs to the building.
The secretary of state Michael Gove paid a visit to the school when he was in Portsmouth last month.
He spoke to students about the development and what they would like to see change.
‘Mr Gove left with no doubt that the children wanted a big refurbishment, they wanted all these new facilities,’ Ms Mordaunt added.
‘We wanted to get the message across to Michael that this is a priority and it needs to be done. That particular area of Portsmouth in terms of that school has been neglected and we’ve just got to get on with it.’
Headteacher Gareth Hughes said: ‘There are some aspects of the school’s building that are in desperate need.
‘The school was built in the 1940s and there hasn’t been significant investment in the buildings in recent times.’
And Mr Hughes said it was good for Mr Gove to be able to have a look at the school.
‘It was good for me to be able to show him the state of the building and explain to him what our needs are as we continue to improve the quality of education here at King Richard School.
‘He was genuinely interested in the issues we are facing. I’m hopeful that something will come of that visit.’