MULTI-million pound investment into new and improved school, tourism and business projects in Dorset will go ahead, despite the tough economic situation.
Dorset county councillors have pledged their commitment to a range of building and refurbishment projects which aim to boost local educational and economic prospects.
At the latest meeting of the council's cabinet, members supported continued investment into a range of schemes totalling £83.9 million in 2013/14 and a further £84 million in 2014/15.
The bulk of these will take place as part of the reorganisation of the Purbeck school system, including construction of new buildings for Lulworth and Winfrith School, Wool St Mary's School, Purbeck School and Sandford St Martin's School.
Other projects to benefit from the funding include new buildings for Pimperne Primary School, Sturminster Newton High School and Yewstock School; infrastructure and improvement works at the North Dorset Business Park in Sturminster Newton; a new learning centre and artists' studio at Durlston Country Park, Swanage.
Councillor Spencer Flower, cabinet member for corporate resources, said:
"Like councils up and down the country, Dorset is under huge pressure to cut costs and find savings to help with the government's programme for economic recovery. But it's important that we continue to put money into key local projects. Investment in education, tourism and businesses will help stimulate our economy, and put us in good shape for the future."
Work is also progressing to reduce the number of council-owned buildings by 25 per cent. This will shave around £1.5 million from the council's annual running and maintenance costs, with almost half of these savings (£667,000) already achieved.