Education Minister announces £40m capital investment for primary schools

Date published: 15 March 2016

Education Minister John O’Dowd has announced a £40m capital investment for primary schools.

John O'Dowd MLA

In a written statement to the Assembly, the Minister outlined that the funding would be used to advance to planning the following ten Primary School projects:


  • St Vincent de Paul PS, Belfast
  • New Primary School to amalgamate: St Mary’s PS, Annalong; St Joseph’s PS, Kilkeel; and Moneydarragh PS, Annalong
  • Islandmagee PS – a new Primary School created from the amalgamation of Mullaghdubh PS and Kilcoan PS, Islandmagee
  • Gaelscoil Aodha Rua, Dungannon
  • St Peter’s PS, Collegelands, Dungannon
  • Gaelscoil Eanna, Newtownabbey
  • Crawfordsburn PS, Crawfordsburn
  • Seaview PS, Belfast
  • St Malachy’s PS, Armagh
  • King’s Park PS, Lurgan

Minister O’Dowd said:

“I am delighted that today’s announcement will see another 10 school projects benefiting in time from new state of the art facilities for young people from Kilkeel to Islandmagee and beyond. The investment will also provide a welcome boost to the construction industry over the coming years as the projects come to fruition.

“I understand some schools will be disappointed not to be announced today. I can reassure those schools that not being part of this list will not impact their chances of being selected as part of a future call. 

“I would encourage schools to consider applications to future School Enhancement Programme calls. This programme has the potential to move more quickly than a major project and with an upper ceiling of £4m, can make a substantial difference to a school in need of capital investment.”

Concluding, the Minister commented on the level of investment in the schools’ estate since he became Minister:

“I have always ensured that investment plans primarily focus on providing a first class education experience for the pupils, teachers and indeed school communities, to ensure our young people have the type and quality of accommodation required to help them fulfil their potential.

“As Minister I am proud to have been involved in the development and enhancement of many schools across all sectors and I know many pupils are now enjoying the benefits of what is a significant investment by this Executive in the schools’ estate.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The schools’ estate currently includes 1,164 schools: 96 nursery, 827 primary, 202 post-primary and 39 special schools; of varying sizes, of differing types and under the control of various Managing Authorities.
  2. The estimated capital value of the Education Estate is over £3billion.
  3. Since June 2012, Minister O’Dowd has made three major capital announcements totalling over £500m. To date seven are complete, ten are currently on-site, a further twenty-six are in design with many of these likely to move on-site in the in-coming financial year.
  4. In addition, 51 projects under the Schools’ Enhancement Programme (SEP) with an estimated value of £134million have been taken forward.
  5. The schools have been selected under a similar protocol as previous announcements in
  6. 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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