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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008, 07:15 GMT
School buy-out bid hits trouble
Empty classroom
The community wants to take over the Borders school
A community buy-out bid for a primary school in the Borders has hit problems on the eve of a vital funding decision.

A trust was set up to raise 2m for rural Newlands Primary just over three years ago.

However, difficulties surrounding the future ownership of the building must be resolved to allow plans to progress.

A decision on a 1m bid for lottery funding has been deferred until the position on whether to lease or buy the property outright is clarified.

Newlands Community Trust was created in 2005 when Scottish Borders Council threatened to close it and merge the 80-pupil school with West Linton Primary.

Remain confident

It has campaigned, raised funds and sought to build up a solid business case for the retention of the school and to turn it into a meeting place for the surrounding community.

The funding bid was submitted to the Big Lottery Fund towards the end of last year - with a decision expected this month.

However, that decision has been deferred until March because of problems over who would own the building.

The idea was for the trust to take a 99-year lease on the current school and build a new hall on the back.

It appears the lottery fund would prefer it to be owned outright.

A meeting will be held next week between the trust and the council, but campaigners have said they are confident the difficulties can be overcome.

Cost of saving rural school rises
29 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Parents in 1m vow to save school
18 Feb 05 |  Scotland

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