Weir opens £4million investment project at Belfast Royal Academy

Date published: 14 September 2016

Education Minister, Peter Weir, has opened new £4million facilities at Belfast Royal Academy provided through the School Enhancement Programme.

The project included the construction of a new two-storey building to provide purpose built accommodation for music and learning support  together with the extension and refurbishment of the Jackson building which provided new dining facilities, HE accommodation and toilets.

Speaking following the visit, the Minister said:

“This £4million investment has provided new and improved facilities and accommodation which have enhanced the working environment for all the school staff in addition to having a positive impact on the pupils of Belfast Royal Academy.

“Improving the schools estate is a priority for me and the School Enhancement Programme is an excellent way of delivering capital work projects which have an immediate positive impact on the school environment and the young people within the schools.

“I also want to congratulate the school on their recent excellent exam success which saw 97% of pupils obtaining five GCSEs A*- C including English and Maths, while around 86% of pupils achieved A* - C grades at A level.”

The School Enhancement Programme (SEP) was initially announced in 2013 for 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 build is not deemed deliverable.

Belfast Royal Academy Principal, Moore Dickson said:

“I am delighted to welcome the Minister to the official opening of our major capital project to significantly enhance facilities for our pupils. The school now has a purpose built music suite, equipped with the most up to date technology, a new dining area which also serves as a relaxing social space for pupils, as well as accommodating meetings and functions.  In addition, we also have a refurbished Home Economics suite, new Business Studies classrooms and a Learning Support Suite.

“I am very appreciative of the grant funding from the Department of Education which enabled this project to proceed and I pay tribute to the architects for their innovative design and to the contractor, for working closely with school staff during the course of this complex project.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Belfast Royal Academy is a Voluntary Grammar School in Belfast.
  2. The construction contract was awarded to Felix O’Hare & Co.
  3. Follow us on Twitter @education_NI
  4. See photos from the Department of Education in our flickr collection.
  5. 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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