Twelve schools to benefit from £35m investment

Education Minister John O'Dowd.'Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Education Minister John O'Dowd.'Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Twelve schools across Northern Ireland are to benefit from new and improved accommodation as part of a £35million investment.

Education Minister John O’Dowd has given the green light for the investment as part of the School Enhancement Programme (SEP).

The following projects will now proceed to construction: Sullivan Upper School, Holywood; Integrated College, Dungannon; St Louis’, Ballymena; Broadbridge Primary School, Eglinton; Erne Integrated College Phase 2, Enniskillen; St Patrick’s Academy, Lisburn; Killean Primary School, Newry; Mount Lourdes GS, Enniskillen; John Paul II Primary School, Belfast; Methodist College, Belfast; Wallace High School, Lisburn; Strandtown Primary School, Belfast.

Sullivan Upper School is to benefit from a £2.9m investment, Methodist College from £4m and Wallace High School £3.2m.

The Minister said: “This £35million investment is an investment in the future of our young people. The improved and new accommodation will provide better facilities for young people to learn in and an improved working environment for all the school staff.

“Ongoing investment in our schools’ estate is essential if we are to continue to provide a high quality education and today’s announcement has been made possible by an increase in the DE capital budget of £46.9million or 32% in FY16/17.

“Thirty four SEP projects are already in construction or have been completed. Construction work for these 12 additional projects will proceed in the FY16/17 financial year. Of course, this level of investment also provides a significant boost for the local construction industry and in turn, the local economy.”

The School Enhancement Programme (SEP) is a capital build programme targeted to meet the immediate and pressing needs in schools, through smaller scale works, where a new build capital works is not deemed deliverable. It caters for construction projects costing between £500,000 and £4,000,000. This phase of the School Enhancement Programme represents a total investment of £35million.