MORE than £100,000 will be spent on two local schools under the government's Seed Challenge initiative.

The lucky recipients are Andrews Endowed Primary, Holybourne, to receive £60,000, and Bentley Primary, £44,000.

However, other schools with their own proposed projects, costing tens of thousands of pounds, have lost out on the bonanza cash give-away.

Hampshire County Council received an allocation of £688,000 under the scheme, introduced for the first time this year. Its education sub-committee met last week to decide who was to get a slice of the budget.

Success for the Andrews Endowed School bid means that work on a special new classroom will start this summer for completion in autumn.

The £60,000 represents 50 per cent of the total required to provide an urgently needed dedicated room for performing arts – in particular music and drama.

Currently the school has 86 children learning musical instruments, and lessons have to take place in corridors and shared areas.

The orchestra, school choir, and the drama club have to rehearse in cramped classrooms and whole school productions cannot be staged effectively because of a lack of adequate rehearsal space. A dedicated room will meet all these needs.

In addition, the project will provide a shower and toilet for the disabled, as there is neither in the school at present. This lack of facilities is hampering efforts to forge closer links with the adjacent Lord Mayor Treloar's College.

The scheme at Bentley Primary School is for a single-storey room attached to the existing structure which will be used for practical activities such as art, technology, music, drama and group teaching. Currently there is nowhere in the school for these activities.

This project is costing a total of £88,000, of which £44,000 is being funded by the Seed Challenge.

But those schools to miss out include Four Marks Primary, looking for half the £20,000 cost of providing a swimming pool cover; Perins Community School, which wanted £18,150 towards its £55,000 additional dining facilities; and St Mary's Primary at Bentworth requesting £7,500 to pay for 50 per cent of the cost of refurbishing the boys' and girls' toilet and washroom areas. Sun Hill Infants, Alresford, wanted £8,400 to help complete work on the development of the school grounds; and Whitedown Special School was asking for £750 towards the £1,500 required to bring a hedge of neglected leylandii trees under control. Both schemes were rejected.

The Seed Challenge scheme is intended to encourage external funding contributions to school capital projects aimed at raising educational standards and addressing the backlog of repairs on school sites.