CO-LOCATING Lochies School with the new Alloa Wellbeing Hub could enrich health and wellbeing opportunities for young people, councillors heard last week.

Kilncraigs last Thursday, March 23, noted the formal outcome of the consultation process on the proposed relocation of Wee County's school for children with complex needs to a site in the west of Alloa.

As previously highlighted, proposals are for the school to share a site, dubbed The Pavilions, with a wellbeing hub which is in the design phase and which will feature a swimming pool along with a range of other facilities.

The building is to be specifically design to meet the evolving needs of young people with complex needs with the local authority explaining that co-location will offer accessible sport, health and leisure opportunities for pupils and families.

Answering a question by Cllr Darren Lee at last week's meeting, council chief education officer Colin Bruce told the Kilncraigs chamber: “There's added benefits of a wellbeing hub and Lochies being side-by-side.

“When you look at the staffing supporting just under 30 young people in the school, it's actually duplicate of that in staff because of the amount of expertise needed from the NHS.

“So we talk about building a wellbeing hub, partnership is absolutely key to delivering a good service to the young people.”

As reported ahead of the meeting, 79 per cent of of respondents to the statutory consultation were in favour of relocating Lochies while others raised various concerns over a lack of public transport, loss of green space and more.

At the meeting, the chief education officer was asked about the new-build school's dependence on the wellbeing hub, Cllr Dennis Coyne asking if one can be built without the other.

Mr Bruce confirmed the school was a priority, as set out in the Learning Estate Strategy.

On the issue of transport, he explained those attending benefit from taxis and buses collecting children from across the Wee County and this would continue at The Pavilions site.

He also said there was work to be done in adding public transport around the whole project.

Cllr Graham Lindsay, spokesperson for education, sought to stress that the site “is not in the middle of nowhere” and that “it's very much still central”.

Lochies has a roll of 36 and the new-build, which has an indicative opening date of August 2026 according to documents tabled on the day, could support up to 54 pupils.

As part of statutory consultation, Education Scotland has concluded that the proposal is of clear educational benefit for children and young people.

Cllr Lindsay added after the meeting: “We’ve already delivered fantastic modern facilities including the impressive Tullibody South Campus and the extended and refurbished Early Learning and Childcare provision at Park Primary School.

“We want to see that progress continue with modern, flexible and inclusive facilities for all Clackmannanshire’s children and young people, including those with additional support needs.”