Pnrr, Csel: 901 construction and renovation projects financed with school canteen funds

A total of 425.5 million allocated out of the 600 available which will finance 901 new canteens and 31 rejected projects. In 52% of cases, Pnrr funds arrive in contexts in which the school canteen service was completely absent. 41% of the available resources will go to Municipalities in the South and Islands, 15% in Central Italy and 44% in the North. These are some of the numbers that emerge from an elaboration by the Centro Studi Enti Locali (Csel), for Adnkronos, based on the definitive rankings released by the Ministry of Education and Merit and relating to the Plan for the extension of full-time and canteens, envisaged by the Investment 1.2 of Mission 4 ‘Education and Research’, Component 1 ‘Enhancement of the offer of education services: from nursery schools to universities’ of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Pnrr).

“The notice in question, as well as that for the nursery schools, had – observes Csel – a rather troubled process. The first ‘call’, the deadline for which had been set for February 28, 2022, was answered by a number of entities clearly lower than expected. Two reopenings were needed, with a deadline postponed first to July and then to 8 September last, to get closer to the objective agreed with Brussels, which was to translate into the construction or renovation of the canteen spaces for a total of around 1,000 buildings by 2026”.

A total of 31 municipalities were excluded, which had presented projects for a total value of 12.3 million. These are located in just four regions: Lombardy (59%), Piedmont (20%), Emilia Romagna (11%) and Marche (10%). “The additional allocation of 200 million, arranged last June (200 million more which added up to the 400 foreseen in the first instance) in fact – underlines Csel – has barely been affected. It is therefore sad to see how it has not been entirely seized this important opportunity to finance the extension of full-time schooling to expand the educational offer of schools and thus facilitate the reconciliation of personal and working life for families”.

But where will these resources end up? The students who will benefit the most from these funds are those from Lombardy. In fact, their region has had 103 projects financed for a total of over 68 million. Followed by: Campania (104 projects and 47.2 million), Emilia Romagna (78 projects and 39.4 million), Veneto (72 projects and 35.4 million), Puglia (77 projects and 34 million), Calabria (79 projects and 29.5 million), Lazio (64 projects and 28.3 million), Piedmont (57 projects and 25.6 million), Abruzzo (54 projects and 21.5 million), Sicily (43 projects and 18 million), Tuscany (37 projects and 17.6 million), Sardinia (23 projects and 10.4 million), Marche (21 projects and 10.3 million), Basilicata (25 projects and 9.7 million), Umbria (21 projects and 9.6 million).

The circle is closed by Trentino-Alto Adige (14 projects and 6 million), Friuli-Venezia Giulia (9 projects and 5.6 million), Molise (7 projects and 3.1 million), Liguria (12 projects and 2 .9 million) and Valle d’Aosta (a new building to be used as a canteen, financed with 635 thousand euros).

Restricting the field further and aggregating the data on a provincial basis, it emerges that it is the Municipalities of the Neapolitan area that have catalysed the largest funding (14.4 million for 25 new canteens), followed by those in the province of Rome (13.9 million for 30 projects), Bergamo (13.7 million for 19 projects) and Milan (over 12 million for 13 projects).

The most expensive project by far that will be financed by this Pnrr investment is the one presented by the Municipality of Ceggia, in the province of Venice. This institution, which has just over 6 thousand inhabitants, was awarded 1 million and 700 thousand euros to build a new canteen. One of the evaluation criteria taken into consideration in drawing up the rankings was whether or not schools were located in disadvantaged areas. The data that emerges from the analysis carried out by the Centro Studi Enti Locali, on the data released by the department, is that 37 schools out of 100, among those that will benefit from these resources, are inserted in a context of internal, mountainous or island areas.

Just over half of the Pnrr funds allocated to the ‘Full-time extension plan and canteens’ will go to finance the construction of canteens from scratch where there were no rooms used as a school canteen at all. This is the starting condition associated with 466 of the 901 projects entered in the final ranking released by the Ministry of Education.

Looking at the types of intervention, we learn that the bulk of the resources (over 277 million, i.e. 65%) will be used for new buildings, 23% for demolition, reconstruction or expansion of buildings (99.9 million), 7% to redevelop existing canteens (30.8 million) and 4% to reconvert premises currently used for other purposes (17.5 million). Finally, a look at the data relating to the current conditions of the buildings that will house the new or renovated canteens. 98% of the buildings affected by this measure are currently usable. Only one partially unusable property, 5 completely unusable ones. Nine cases in which the data is not available.