Education Minister announces funding boost for school buildings

Date published: 09 March 2016

Education Minister John O’Dowd has announced an additional £47million for school buildings.

The Minister confirmed the 32% increase in the 2016-17 Capital Budget allocation during a meeting of the Assembly’s Education Committee today.

The investment will allow up to ten major construction projects announced previously, to move forward; as well as several school enhancement projects and minor works schemes to take place.

Commenting on the increased investment, Education Minister John O’Dowd said:

“This £47million increase in the capital budget for the education sector is good news for education and good news for the many schools set to benefit. This level of investment will of course provide a significant boost to the local construction industry and in turn the local economy.

“The funding will enable my Department to move up to ten major projects to site over the next year and advance the designs of a further 14 schools where business cases are already approved. I know for some schools this investment has been long awaited and I look forward to seeing the completion of these projects over the coming months and years.”

The Minister announced in February that construction work would also begin on twelve school enhancement projects this year, providing new and refurbished teaching spaces, new sports provision and replacement temporary accommodation.

Commenting on the resource budget allocation, the Minister continued:

“Schools were informed of their budgets last week and today I have outlined the entire education resource budget for 16/17. My department, like in previous years, has seen a reduction in its overall allocation as a result of decisions taken by the Westminster Government.

“I have however managed to protect Sure Start, Early Years, Youth and Special Educational Needs funding from any reduction. Funding levels for Extended Schools and Targeting Social Need, which support the most vulnerable in our society, have also been maintained.”

Notes to editors: 

1. The Department has been allocated a total capital budget of £193.7million and a resource budget of £1,947.5million.

2. 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.

3. See photos from the Department of Education in our flickr collection.

4. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9268. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.

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