CRAVEN schools are set to receive part of £51 million funding towards the upgrade of facilities over the next three years.

The money, which will be spread over three years, will be used for the upgrading of science labs, design technology, art, music and drama space.

It will also be used to improve school kitchens and the actual fabric of buildings across the whole of North Yorkshire schools.

The money comes from a number of government allocations for maintenance improvement and new build and follows a national survey that revealed schools in North Yorkshire were in high need of work.

Pete Dwyer, North Yorkshire County Council's corporate director for children and young people, said it would not allow all necessary work to take place, but it would go a long way.

“Approval for the capital programme means we can press ahead with many necessary improvements and repairs to the fabric of our school buildings,” he said.

“North Yorkshire is responsible for some 350 schools, many of them small and with ageing buildings. We have a rising backlog of building maintenance and this funding, even with the increased allocation, is not going to address all of that. "

He added: "However, it will go a long way to helping our schools continue to be fit for purpose to deliver a 21st century school curriculum.”

North Yorkshire’s capital allocation this year amounts to £13.2 million - £1.8 million more than last year. Including the money that is devolved directly to schools, this figure amounts to just over £17 million, with a similar indicative amount for the following two years.

The authority has also received additional capital funding of nearly £600,000 to support the delivery of universal infant free school meals, which means the council will be able to refurbish a number of school kitchens in most need of renovation.

In a separate announcement, the council has also allocated a further £1 million for the provision of additional school places in 2017/18 supporting an allocation of £40 million announced last year.

A programme of school expansions was agreed by councillors in September.