PLANS to build two new multi-million pound schools in Newport are being scrapped as the authority is forced to scale back its 21st Century Schools Programme plan.

The city council has more than halved its bid for funding from the Welsh Government from £40 million to £15 million, due to increased financial pressures and a new requirement to provide half of the money itself.

As a result proposals to build a £12.5 million new Welsh-medium school and a £10 million school for youngsters with autistic spectrum disorder have been withdrawn.

Instead the council is asking for £1 million for each project, to pay for remodelling work on existing council-owned buildings where the schools would be based.

It is also asking for £1 million instead of the original £2 million to extend nursery education at 12 schools including Clytha, Millbrook and Monnow primary schools.

It wants £7 million, to replace decaying demountable buildings and to carry out remodelling work at seven schools including Duffryn High and Caerleon Comprehensive School.

It is also asking for £5 million to fund a proposed merger of Caerleon Lodge Hill Infants and Junior School, currently being consulted on, as well as extending St Julians Primary and Lliswerry Primary Schools, which amalgamated to cater for increased demand in recent years.

The council says it had to downscale its proposals because of increased financial pressures and the requirement from the Welsh Government to provide 50 per cent of the project money, instead of the 30 per cent it originally asked for.

The council will fund this by selling some of it assets.

None of Wales’ 22 local authorities won funding the first time around and were invited to submit new proposals.

If granted in December the funding will be given over six years.

The council says the authority is facing many pressures in its schools, limiting the aspiration of learners and teachers.

It says it hopes funding will address these issues and help it continue to provide a high achieving education service.