Northern Ireland

Schools welcome plans for `stunning' campus

Ballycastle High School and Cross and Passion College will both move onto the site
Ballycastle High School and Cross and Passion College will both move onto the site Ballycastle High School and Cross and Passion College will both move onto the site

SCHOOL leaders have welcomed plans for a "stunning" new education campus.

Samuel Stevenson & Sons Architects has submitted the full planning application for the £38m Ballycastle Shared Education Campus.

Ballycastle High School and Cross and Passion College will both move onto the site.

The single build will encompass shared facilities at the centre and core schools at either side.

The Shared Education Campuses programme was launched in January 2014 under the Stormont executive's Together: Building a United Community initiative.

Money for new buildings was secured under the Fresh Start Agreement with a commitment to "starting 10 new campuses by 2018".

Progress has been slow, however.

Ballycastle was one of the first five announced. Collaboration between Cross and Passion and Ballycastle High has been taking place for many years and continues to develop.

There are 300 pupils involved in shared classes at Key Stage 4 and Post-16.

Benefits to the shared education programme including greater curriculum choice for pupils, sharing of good practice, challenged perceptions of 'the other community' and the building of good relationships between pupils and staff from the two schools.

"The facilities for young people, and the whole community of north Antrim, will be stunning," said Cross and Passion Principal Paul McClean.