Twelve NI schools to share £35m building fund

By Robbie Meredith
BBC News NI Education Correspondent

image captionEducation Minister John O'Dowd said the building projects would benefit Northern Ireland's construction industry and the local economy as well as schools

Twelve schools across Northern Ireland are to share £35m to build new facilities or improve their existing buildings.

The money, from the School Enhancement Programme (SEP), will fund refurbishment and extension projects.

The value of the individual works range from £800,000 to £4m. Construction work will begin in the next financial year.

The education minister said it would benefit the construction industry and the local economy as well as schools.

'Significant boost'

The 12 schools to receive money, and the amount they will receive, are:

  • Sullivan Upper School, Holywood £2.9m
  • Integrated College, Dungannon £3.1m
  • St Louis', Ballymena £4m
  • Broadbridge Primary School, Eglinton £2.7m
  • Erne Integrated College Phase 2, Enniskillen £3.8m
  • St Patrick's Academy, Lisburn £3.7m
  • Killean Primary School, Newry £1.5m
  • Mount Lourdes Grammar School, Enniskillen £1.1m
  • John Paul II Primary School, Belfast £0.8m
  • Methodist College, Belfast £4m
  • Wallace High School, Lisburn £3.2
  • Strandtown Primary School, Belfast £4m

Examples of projects paid for by SEP include permanent buildings to replace mobiles, refurbishment of existing accommodation and the provision of sports facilities.

Education Minister John O'Dowd said: "The improved and new accommodation will provide better facilities for young people to learn in and an improved working environment for all the school staff."

The announcement has been made possible by an increase in the Department of Education capital budget of £46.9m or 32% for 2016/17.

"This level of investment also provides a significant boost for the local construction industry and in turn, the local economy," said Mr O'Dowd.

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