Wirral Council is paying more than £800,000 per year for a school building which has not been used for three years.

Kingsway Academy, previously Wallasey School, a former secondary school on Birket Avenue in Leasowe, closed in 2018 after failing to attract enough pupils and has remained empty ever since.

The school, which was open for just three years before closing in 2018, is part of the Wirral PFI (private finance initiative) schools contract which was signed in 2001.

The PFI scheme allowed for the significant refurbishment and building of nine schools across Wirral, including eight secondary schools and one primary school.

But the contract means that Wirral Council is paying £867,500 per year for Kingsway’s upkeep and will continue to pay this sum until 2031 unless another use for the building is found.

Kingsway’s problems date back to when it was known as Wallasey School, with a 2013 inspection declaring it had ‘serious weaknesses’.

It closed in August 2018, with just 129 pupils on its roll, but the school site has a capacity of 1,450 pupils, with a former City Learning Centre (CLC) building also within the boundary of the school grounds.

A meeting of Wirral Council’s Children, Young People and Education Committee, in New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion at 6pm tonight, will discuss what to do with the site.

Councillors are recommended to support an assessment looking at how the site could be used, with one option being moving Clare Mount School, on Fender Lane in Moreton, into the site.

This option was explored at the end of 2019, but was not developed further due to the impact of the pandemic.

This school, just under three miles from Kingsway, needs significant investment due to its current condition and has ‘outgrown’ its current site according to Wirral Council.

Clare Mount School has 249 pupils at the moment, and temporary classrooms are being used to satisfy demand at the moment. The school’s sixth form pupils are currently using Kingsway’s CLC facility.

Other options for the future use of the building include it being used by another secondary school and splitting up the site to allow two primary schools to use it.