South Scotland

Scottish Borders schools legal fight fund set aside

Berwickshire High School by Jim Barton
Image caption The wrangle centres on the installation of the electrical supply at Berwickshire High School

A total of £100,000 has been set aside by Scottish Borders Council to fight a legal wrangle with a consortium which built three new secondary schools.

The dispute involves the installation of an electrical supply at Berwickshire High School in Duns.

Scottish Borders Education Partnership says the council delayed providing permissions for power supply to cross land or sub-leases to Scottish Power.

It has submitted a compensation claim which the authority intends to defend.

SBEP said the delay caused its main contractor and a sub-contractor to lose money.

As a result it has submitted the claim seeking compensation.

The ongoing row led the council's executive committee to approve the transfer of the six-figure sum from its reserves to its legal department.

A council spokesman said: "The parties have been exchanging information on the merits of each of their respective cases.

"If no resolution is found the claim may proceed to arbitration or other dispute resolution procedure as agreed by the parties.

"The council appointed advisors to review and defend the claim."

SBEP was chosen by SBC as its preferred bidder in 2006 to finance, design and build Berwickshire, Earlston and Eyemouth high schools under a £60m Public Private Partnership.

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