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Almost £8.5million investment in the schools estate during November

During the month of November, almost 8.5million was earmarked for minor capital works in schools.
Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Speaking about the investment today, Education Minister, John O’Dowd said: “One of my top priorities is raising educational standards and I am confident that ongoing investment in the minor works programme will help achieve this.  Continued investment in our schools estate is essential if we are to help support our teaching staff to deliver a quality education to all our children and young people.

“Despite pressures on my budget, I have continued to seek to target funds to improving the schools estate and I am pleased to announce that a further £8.5million was earmarked for minor works projects during the month of November.

“My Department reviews and approves minor works applications on an ongoing basis.  Since the beginning of the year investment in this area has amounted to over £42million, addressing issues ranging from minor repairs to more significant refurbishment projects and extensions.

“In addition to the positive impact on pupils, teachers and school staff the ongoing investment also provides a much needed boost to the construction industry, helping to sustain local jobs.”

Minor works contracts awarded during November include window replacement at Seaview Primary School and Glenbank Nursery School in Belfast; upgrade of link corridor at Ballyclare High School; resurfacing work in the playground at Holy Family Primary School, Omagh; the replacement of three tennis courts at Newry High School; and drainage to the grass pitch at St Colmcille’s High School, Crossgar.

The Minister continued by highlighting the additional funding for schools’ maintenance and major capital builds.  He said: “In August I announced an additional £10million for schools’ maintenance, bringing the total allocation in this area to £47million for this financial year.  Also, since last year I have given approval to proceed with new school projects representing a potential investment in the region of £350million.”

In conclusion the Minister said: “The completion of all of these works will ultimately provide better facilities for our children and young people to learn in and an improved working environment for teachers and other school staff.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Since last summer 40 new school building projects have been given approval to proceed representing a potential investment of £353million.  
  2. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect website for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  3. View photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection.
  4. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.