Renfrewshire councillors will vote this week on whether to approve a £250,000 investment to completely revamp the entrance to St Anthony’s Primary School in Spateston.

The decision will be made by the authority’s Finance board on Wednesday, 31st March, and board member Cllr Andy Steel is very hopeful the plan will get the go ahead.

The SNP man, who represents Johnstone, said “It’s been a long haul to get this one over the line. We first approached officers about this over two years ago, but with lockdown everything was put on hold and timetables went up in smoke. Now though, if final approval is given, work can begin and it will transform the entrance to St Anthony’s –it’s been in poor condition for too long.”

“After the demolition of St Cuthbert’s High, the erection of the houses on Scholar’s Green, and the years of work to refurbish the school inside and out – which was very welcome after years of delay – the entrance to the school off Hallhill Road is the final piece needing done. It doesn’t send out the message we want to give about how we value education – schools, pupils and staff.”

Photo: Lewis Nesbitt, Chair of Spateston Tenants and Resident’s Association and Cllr Andy Steel outside St Anthony’s

At present the area is overgrown with brambles, and the road surface has broken up in many places. The improvements will see reconstruction and realignment on the existing car park, the area resurfaced, new road lining, new lighting and a lay by for pick up and drop off.

SNP Cllr Jacqueline Cameron also welcomed the plan. She said “If passed this will be great news for the school and Spateston. There’s been an issue with traffic congestion on Hallhill Road at peak times since the shops were moved and St Bert’s was demolished, so I hope a more practical design of the entrance will allow parents using cars to come in off Hallhill Road, drop off or pick up safely, and then make their way home. With Hallhill Road being resurfaced in April, this will also give that road surface a bit more longevity.”

Cllr Cameron added “It’s also important that new lighting be installed, for safety of everyone using the area. It’s a great investment in the school and I very much hope it is approved.”

Lewis Nesbitt, Chair of Spateston Tenants and Resident’s Association, gave his reaction to the proposals, saying “We’re pleased that Renfrewshire Council have kept to their word and will be giving St Anthony’s an entrance reflective of the investment inside the school.”

“This redesign will be crucial in managing the congestion we have seen on Hallhill Road, which we know is a great concern within our community.”