Northern Ireland news

Multi-million-pound schools building boost

Knockevin School is among 25 that will benefit

UP to £60 million is to be made available to provide 25 schools with much-needed accommodation upgrades.

The Department of Education yesterday announced the names of those who will benefit from the School Enhancement Programme (SEP).

The SEP is designed to benefit those who need substantial work that falls short of a complete new build.

The reduced capital budget available to the Department of Education in the coming years means there can no longer be a presumption of a new build in every case where investment is needed.

Funding of between £500,000 and £4m is available through the SEP for projects aimed at refurbishing or extending existing provision.

The schools include Holy Rosary PS and Our Lady of Lourdes PS in Belfast, St John's PS in Coalisland, St Kevin's College in Lisnaskea and Knockevin Special School in Downpatrick.

Department permanent secretary Derek Baker said he had given approval to progress the first 25 projects through the business case, design and planning stages.

"These projects will attract a potential £60m investment which will help to improve and expand the existing facilities in the schools," he said.

Education Authority chief executive Gavin Boyd said the school experiences of children could be improved through enhancements to their physical learning environment.

"This £60m capital investment means that 25 schools will now benefit from much needed work to improve the infrastructure and facilities for thousands of pupils," he said.

 

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