Northern Ireland

O'Dowd approves 22 new school building projects

John O'Dowd
Image caption John O'Dowd said the building projects would also help to support the local construction industry

Northern Ireland's Education Minister, John O'Dowd, has approved 22 new school building projects.

The projects are worth a total of £220m Fourteen of the projects are for new primary schools and eight are post-primary.

Mr O'Dowd said the schools had been indentified as "priority projects".

He said the work would address issues such as overcrowding, substandard accommodation and "over-reliance on temporary classrooms".

Construction jobs

The announcement means that about a third of the schools who applied for new builds will get them.

The minister said it was a "significant investment" in the school estate but was also "good news for the construction industry" and had the potential to support thousands of jobs.

Although ministerial approval has been granted, the projects are still subject to planning approval and will also depend on "the level of capital funding availability at that time".

The successful projects are:

  • Holy Trinity College, Cookstown
  • Strabane Academy, County Tyrone
  • St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon
  • Parkhall Integrated College, Antrim
  • Down High School, Downpatrick
  • Gaelscoil Ui Dhochartaigh, Strabane
  • Gaelscoil Ui Neill, Coalisland
  • St Bronagh's Primary School, Rostrevor
  • Omagh Integrated Primary School
  • Braidside Integrated Primary school, Ballymena
  • Portadown Integrated Primary School
  • Corran Integrated Primary School, Larne
  • Elmgrove Primary School, east Belfast
  • Edendork Primary School, Dungannon
  • Glenwood Primary School and Edenderry Nursery school in the Shankill area of Belfast
  • A new-build project to encompass the existing schools of St Mary's, St Paul's and St Michael's post-primary schools in Lurgan
  • A new primary school to service Islandmagee in County Antrim and the surrounding area, to include Mullaghdubh and Kilcoan Primary Schools
  • A new primary school for the amalgamated schools of St Joseph's and St James' in Poyntzpass
  • A project encompassing St Mary's Primary School, Cargan and Glenravel Primary School.
  • A new-build solution to service the needs of three schools; Craigback, Mullabuoy and Listress primary schools, on the outskirts of Londonderry.
  • A new school to replace Devenish College and to facilitate the amalgamation or closure of Lisnaskea High School in County Fermanagh
  • A new school to facilitate the amalgamation of Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School and Portora Royal Schools.

The minister said: "Six of the projects will see permanent new-build solutions for integrated and Irish-medium schools currently located almost exclusively in temporary accommodation."

Mr O'Dowd has also opened applications for a new programme to fund school refurbishment and extension projects.

Schools should submit applications by mid-April for the £40m programme. Mr O'Dowd plans to make decisions by June.

The funding programme is aimed at projects costing between £500,000 and £4m pounds.

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