£14million to progress six more School Enhancement Projects

Date published: 23 September 2015

Education Minister, John O’Dowd, has given the go ahead for a further six schools to proceed to construction on the School Enhancement Programme.

Speaking today about his decision, the Minister said:

“I am delighted to announce that a further six schemes with a total value of £14million, can now proceed. Ongoing investment in our schools estate is essential if we are to continue to provide a quality education environment. The School Enhancement Programme is an important way of providing this much needed accommodation.”

The School Enhancement Programme (SEP) was announced in 2013 for construction projects costing between £500,000 and £4,000,000. The programme is targeted to meet the immediate and pressing needs in schools, through smaller scale works, where a new capital build capital works is not deemed deliverable.

The six schools now proceeding are:

- St Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt
- Victoria College, Belfast
- Sacred Heart Grammar School, Newry
- Anahorish Primary School, Toomebridge
- St Columb’s College, Derry
- St Bernard’s Primary School, Newtownabbey

Continuing the Minister said:

“The education budget, including the capital budget, has suffered under the cuts in recent years. This constrained capital budget meant that some of the SEP projects were unable to move to construction. The announcement I am making today reflects prudent in-year management of the limited capital resources I have available to me at this time. This will bring the total number of SEP projects on site to 34.”

In conclusion, the Minister highlighted the enhanced learning environment for the young people to learn in. He said:

“The improved and new accommodation at these schools will provide better facilities for the young people and staff. This investment also represents a further boost to the local construction industry.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign promotes the value of education. This year’s campaign aims to ensure that parents have information on schooling and that they are aware of the steps they can take to ‘Get Involved’ and support their teenager in achieving good outcomes at school. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect - Education Works for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel 
  2. See photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection 
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.

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