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Plug pulled on ambitious project to build £40m school in St Andrews

Proposals had been drawn up by St Andrews University and Fife Council to build a replacement for Madras School on university land.

Project: The plan for a new £40m Madras College has collapsed.
© STV

The plug has been pulled on ambitious plans to build a new £40m secondary school in St Andrews.

Proposals had been drawn up by St Andrews University and Fife Council to build a replacement for Madras College on university land.

The university says it has “proved impossible” to push ahead with the plans, which first surfaced in 2006 when put forward by St Andrews University.

Now the council will have to plan and build a new Madras facility at an alternative site in the town as the negotiations it opened in 2009 appear to have ended.

Principal Professor Louise Richardson promised that the university will work with the council to deliver a closer academic link with the institution.

She added: “We have taken the initiative to step aside from the physical plans for the school, as disappointing as that is, in the belief that the pupils and parents of this community deserve a new Madras as soon as practically possible and will want to see work begin without any further delay.

“We are deeply disappointed that it has proved impossible to realise our ambitious vision for the new Madras School.

“This is no time for recriminations. Many well-meaning people from both the council and the university have worked hard to try to bring this ambitious project to fruition. Unfortunately the difficult economic times in which we find ourselves, and which are being felt so keenly across the public sector, have militated against the kind of creative thinking required for an innovative project like this to work.

“Now it is important that the council is able to focus its planning on an alternative site so that a new school can be built as quickly as possible.

“We at the university are committed to ensuring that we will have close academic links with the new school and hope that the joint educational working groups and other positive relationships that evolved over the past two years will continue to work together to advance the interests of the secondary school pupils of this community.”

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