PLANS for a new Thorn Primary School in Johnstone have been dealt a blow after the project missed out on Scottish Government funding.

Renfrewshire Council hoped to land £10 million from the learning estate investment programme (LEIP) towards a replacement building but was “very disappointed” to find out its bid was unsuccessful.

The local authority, which secured LEIP funding for the new Paisley Grammar School in a previous phase, will now review its options for Thorn Primary.

Councillor Gillian Graham, Labour group education spokesperson and representative for Johnstone North, said the news will be “devastating” for school staff, pupils and families".

“Thorn is long overdue a new building,” she added.

“At Thursday’s education and children’s services policy board, I brought up the Scottish Government’s phase three LEIP funding – not one SNP councillor raised concerns about the unsuccessful bid for Thorn Primary.

“The Labour group will not accept Thorn parents, staff and pupils being kept in the dark about a new school by this SNP administration.”

Councillor Chris Gilmour, her party and ward colleague, said: “Despite making a manifesto commitment to a new Thorn Primary School and then reaffirming the commitment to a new school in the wake of the Dargavel fiasco, we now find this SNP-run council unsure of a way forward to fulfil their promises.

“The parents, guardians, and teachers at Thorn Primary will be wondering when, if ever, this much-needed new school will be built.”

SNP council leader Iain Nicolson responded: “Councillor Graham is fully aware that applications to the Scottish Government school estate investment programme are never guaranteed.

“As for her comments regarding who said what, I was at the education board meeting and there were no comments made by any councillor regarding Thorn Primary School at the relevant items on the agenda.

“These attempts to stir up politics and to drag hard-working teachers and school children into the politics is disgraceful and Councillor Graham should be thoroughly ashamed of herself. They deserve more than this.

“We are all invested in bringing about a new Thorn Primary School and indeed it has been this SNP administration’s priority school over the last three years, one which we have been constantly working on regardless of external grant funding.

“When we finalise our work on delivering our school estate programme, including Thorn Primary School, these proposals will be presented to the appropriate council board for agreement and hopefully certain opposition councillors will reflect on their behaviour.”

A Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “We are very disappointed that a new Thorn Primary School has not been confirmed as one of 10 school projects to receive round three LEIP funding.

“We will be immediately seeking feedback and will review our options, before confirming next steps.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “This third phase supports a priority project in those local authorities who have not yet benefited from LEIP and, therefore, treats all councils fairly and equitably.

“Renfrewshire Council has already received financial support from phase two of LEIP to support a new Paisley Grammar Community Campus.”