YORK education chiefs have made the replacement of crumbling classrooms at a York school a top priority - despite a failed bid for Government funding - and are set to allocate an extra £30,000 to the scheme.

But plans to set aside a further £1.5 million of City of York Council cash towards the project at Huntington School have been put on hold - because councillors and education officers are "very hopeful and almost very confident" that the next Government funding bid will be successful.

The decision was made at the City of York Council advisory panel to the executive member for education last night.

Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Steve Galloway said today: "I think Huntington School should be very angry that claims have been made that there was some kind of safety net scheme.

"The money simply isn't there and it may or may not be in the future.

"Everybody should unite now and put pressure on the Government to provide the necessary grant, which is how these schemes are usually funded."

But Labour council leader Dave Merrett said if the bid in December failed then the money would be found from capital funds and from the sale of property. The commitment was not made at last night's meeting because it would affect the funding application process.

Conservative leader John Galvin said today: "One way or another some way of funding replacement has got to be found."

Funding for the £4 million scheme to replace 14 temporary classrooms at the school was to come from four sources - £1 million from the school, £500,000 from the council's education modernisation fund, £1 million from council funds and £1.5 from the Government.

Coun Janet Looker, executive member for education, said: "We are very hopeful and almost very confident that we will succeed in the second round of bids.

"But it is important for the school that we take a deep breath and say yes (to the scheme)."

Members of the panel agreed that £30,000 should be made available immediately to start planning work on the scheme and that a revised bid was submitted in the autumn.

Coun Looker will take the recommendations to the executive for consideration.

Updated: 12:15 Wednesday, April 30, 2003