Cotmanhay cash will transfer

NILALC100713K1 - Bennerley business college
NILALC100713K1 - Bennerley business college

Another reason that Cotmanhay residents feel the closure of the Ormiston Enterprise Academy will be such a blow is that cash secured to improve the site will now be spent at the Ilkeston campus instead.

The £7.4m of Government cash that was secured for rebuilding and refurbishing the Bennerley site to improve it for students and turn it into a valuable community resource would instead be spent at the Trust’s other campus.

Governor Cllr Brian Lucas said: “A deal was made for £7.4m to rebuild Bennerley and that was a massive boost not only for the school but for the community and the area as a whole. That money will now move across town with the students and Cotmanhay will miss out again.”

But Ormiston bosses told the Advertiser that pupils from the Bennerley site will still benefit from the cash.

A spokesman said: “As an academy sponsor, we have £7.4m to spend on transforming educational facilities for students in these catchment areas.

“We have been advised that the £7.4m cannot be awarded to an academy which is not financially sustainable. We have also been advised plans for the spending of this money have to commence by the end of November or there is a risk of losing that fund altogether.

“Subject to a business case approval by the Department for Education, £7.4m can be transferred to the Ilkeston site and this is the only way to keep the funding in the locality.”

Cllr Val Custance, also a governor at the Cotmanhay school, added: “The government gave the £7.4m to the Ormiston Trust so why couldn’t they give it to Derbyshire County Council before we became an academy?

“Now the school and community has lost out.”