AT LEAST half of Hyndburn's run-down primary schools are to be rebuilt, refurbished or remodelled.
It's part of a multi-million-pound project to revamp schools throughout Lancashire within the next few years with the aim of providing 21st century facilities, extending parental choice and putting schools at the heart of local communities.
County council education chiefs say the work will be funded by the Primary Capital Programme (PCP) and it is hoped it will start by 2009.
Every primary school in Hyndburn will be assessed under the scheme.
The 20 per cent in the worst condition serving the most deprived areas will either be brought up to standard or even closed.
And school buildings will be planned to minimise expensive and wasteful empty desks.
Cash from the Government will be allocated each year and it will be up to Lancashire's Education Authority to decide which schools are prioritised.
County Councillor Alan Whittaker, Cabinet member for schools, said: "This is really good news as we have already started refurbishing secondary schools across the county.
"Children only get one chance at their education so it is obviously important that something is done to improve the standards of our schools."
He added: "We still have schools from not only last century but from the century before that. In addition, we have a large number of schools from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s that are also getting tired and are operating beyond their expected lifespan.
"The extra investment will be in addition to the money already available for school maintenance and building.
"We now have to work on a business case and get all the right people in place."
The PCP is similar to the Building Schools for the Future scheme which is used to fund improvements to secondary schools in the county.
Schools and churches will be consulted and a series of seminars for headteachers and governors will be held in January and February.