Good news for Ballymena schools
EDUCATION Minister, John O’Dowd has announced that plans for two new school projects in Ballymena can now proceed.
Braidside Integrated Primary school and a project encompassing St Mary’s Primary School, Cargan and Glenravel Primary School are two of the 22 school building projects that will proceed as part of a potential £220million capital build programme.
Speaking about the investment, the Minister said: “In June last year, I set out my Department’s capital investment plans, which at that time included an investment of over £133 million in 18 new build projects.
I am now announcing a further 22 projects to be advanced in planning representing a substantial potential investment of some £220million.
“The projects are aimed at either addressing serious or substandard accommodation inadequacies, or at effecting agreed rationalisation of the schools estate. I am pleased to announce that these building projects will be two of the projects that can now proceed in planning.”
The Minister highlighted that the authorisation to proceed with construction on each project would be based on the level of capital funding availability at that time and all necessary approvals being obtained.
Mr O’Dowd also announced that the School Enhancement Programme, aimed at refurbishing or extending existing schools and worth up to £40million over the next two years, was being opened to applications.
He said: “I have previously made it clear that the capital budget available meant we had to do more with the existing estate. That is why I established the Schools Enhancement Programme and I am pleased that I can now open the programme for applications. The available funding will be prioritised on projects aimed at improving existing facilities and enabling structural changes needed across the estate.”
In conclusion, the Minister said: “This announcement is good news for the schools involved as well as the wider community in the Ballymena area. The £220million investment will also be welcomed as a much needed boost to the construction sector over the coming years.”
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Weather for Ballymena
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South