Plans to upgrade two East Renfrewshire primary schools won’t “proceed as planned” after bids for Scottish Government funding were unsuccessful — but providing replacements remains “a priority”.

East Renfrewshire Council had applied for funding to rebuild the “ageing” Carolside Primary, Clarkston, and Cross Arthurlie Primary, Barrhead.

However, the council learned in late October that both applications had failed, and “alternative sources of funding” are now required.

Speaking at the council’s budget meeting last week, council leader Owen O’Donnell, Labour, said: “There are also pots of government funding to help pay for specific projects but our bids for that money are not always successful.

“It was very disappointing to learn in late October that our application to such a fund to help build new schools to replace Carolside and Cross Arthurlie primaries had been unsuccessful, which means those projects can’t proceed as planned.”

Cllr O’Donnell said that although the “financial picture remains bleak” for local government, the council was “determined to plan for a better future for all our residents”.

He added many people are attracted to East Renfrewshire due to “the quality of our schools” and the council continues to “build new schools and other amenities by using money from our capital budget”.

The council leader highlighted the planned opening of the Neilston learning campus in the next few weeks and an almost £8m commitment to build more classrooms at Maidenhill Primary and Mearns Castle High School.

When plans to bid for money to replace Carolside and Cross Arthurlie were revealed in 2022, the council leader said Carolside had been prioritised as it is in the “worst condition”. The project was estimated to cost £54m while work at Cross Arthurlie was priced at £34m.

The funding bids requested funding, up to 50% of the total costs, from the Scottish Government’s learning estate improvement programme. Costs were based on a completion date in 2026.

A council report at the time added the schools were two of four identified by the council as “most in need of refurbishment or replacing”. The other two were Mearns Castle and Woodfarm high schools.

In a statement, Cllr O’Donnell said the decision not to fund the two replacement schools was “very disappointing for the children, parents and staff”.

He said the council will “continue to work hard to identify any alternative sources of funding that may become available in the future”.

“Replacing these two ageing schools remains a priority, but they are dependent on securing external funding. So, as things stand, it is not possible to take these important projects forward at this time.

“It will continue to be our longer-term aspiration to deliver new school facilities for these communities.”