Weir announces call for School Enhancement Programme

Date published: 25 January 2017

Schools are being invited to apply for financial support for capital projects costing up to £4million.

Education Minister, Peter Weir today announced the second call for the School Enhancement Programme (SEP) as he viewed progress on the £2.9million improvement project at Sullivan Upper School, Holywood. The project will provide a 3G hockey pitch with floodlighting and a stand-alone two-storey pavilion which will include a gymnasium and space for drama and dance.

Peter Weir said:

“The new School Enhancement Programme will target investment at schools which have immediate and pressing needs but where new builds are not deemed affordable or deliverable within the capital budget available. Schools can apply to the programme for a project costing between £0.5m up to £4 million.

“I fully expect the second call to mirror the continuing success of the first SEP call which was announced in March 2014 and, to date, has delivered a total investment of over £136million across 53 projects.

“I have been fortunate to see a number of these schemes which include extensions, new sports halls, drama studios and 3G pitches. All of them have made a real and positive difference to the staff and pupils.”

The Department’s strategy for capital investment has been, and will remain, focused on supporting the development and delivery of a network of viable and sustainable schools, shaped by the outworking of the Area Planning process.

Concluding the Minister said:

“In addition to this SEP call I am continuing to advance the programme of major capital builds as well as a sizeable programme of much needed minor works across the estate. I am also investing substantially in maintenance works across all schools, despite the considerable constraint on the resource budget.

“This announcement today is not only good news for schools but it will also represent a welcome boost to the economy, especially the construction industry, over the coming years as projects come to fruition.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The protocol setting out the processes to be used to identify and rank proposals submitted to the second SEP call will be published on the Department of Education website.
  2. Follow us on Twitter @Education_NI
  3. See photos from the Department of Education in our flickr collection.
  4. 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 0762 397 4383 and your call will be returned.

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