Royston schools to get major spruce up thanks to more than half a million pound grant

Michael Firth, Headteacher of Meridian School, and Laura Rawlings, Headteacher of Greneway School

Michael Firth, Headteacher of Meridian School, and Laura Rawlings, Headteacher of Greneway School - Credit: Archant

Two Royston schools are looking forward to a summer spruce-up after the announcement of grants totalling more than half a million pounds to carry out essential maintenance work.

Staff at Meridian and Greneway Middle School are said to be delighted to have secured the funding, especially as there are five times as many bids for cash from the pot than can be successful.

Meridian gets the lion’s share of the cash injection with £350,000 while Greneway, next door to the upper school site in Garden Walk, has secured £200,000.

The money comes from the government’s condition improvement fund which aims to tackle issues linked to poor building conditions, building compliance, energy efficiency and health and safety.

Greneway will be using the money to replace worn-out roofing, while Meridian’s grant will be used to help foot the bill for the fifth and final stage of a long-running maintenance programme.

The school has had a total of £1.9 million spent on it since 2012 to upgrade windows, roofing and external walls.

Councillors Fiona Hill and Tony Hunter, who represent the town on Herts County Council, and North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald have actively supported the bids and have been credited with playing an important part in securing the crucial funding.

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Meridian headteacher Dr Michael Firth said this week: “We are delighted to hear that our bid has been successful.

“Funding bids are not easy to come by and schools have to work hard to ensure they are given the support they deserve.”

Greneway’s school business manager Fiona Piper said staff are relieved to get the cash, as it is so hard to secure. She said: “We cannot emphasise enough how pleased we were to be successful.”

Work will start during the summer and the money is ring fenced – it can’t be spent on the proposed arts centre at the site of the old swimming pool, for example.

Tessa Crook, whose daughter is a pupil at Greneway School, said: “It always looks well maintained to me, but I can’t say much about the roofing situation.

“We walk through Meridian when I take my youngest through to go to Icknield Walk First school and it does look in a sorry state, apart from the bright yellow windows that were replaced last year in parts of the school.

“The swimming pool has been empty for several years and plans to replace it as an arts and entertainment centre will be great news.

“It doesn’t look like much has been done to improve the buildings at Meridian since I was a pupil there more than 20 years ago.”