Bradley welcomes Newry schools investment
SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Dominic Bradley MLA has welcomed the announcement by the Education Minister to approve capital investment in local schools.
Speaking to Newry Times, Mr Bradley said, “I very much welcome the Ministers announcement which will see £173 million invested in new school builds across the North and of course I particularly welcome the decision to fund the new builds for St Clare’s Convent & St Colman’s Abbey Primary School at £6m and St Joseph’s Convent Primary School at £5.8m. These projects have been in the pipeline for some time and I and my colleagues have been involved in lobbying the case for these new builds for some time now.”
“The children and indeed the future generations of children in Newry deserve to be taught in educational facilities fit for the twenty first century. It is not acceptable that children should be taught in out-dated buildings which were built in Victorian times. I know these decisions will be welcomed in many homes in Newry this evening, as will the other decisions in relation to the Irish Medium Sector and other sectors across the north.”
“As these successful applications move forward to the next step,” Bradley continued, “I would encourage the Minister and his officials to ensure we see construction begin as soon as possible. The construction industry across the north is continuing to experience grave hardship and today’s announcement will be welcome news to that sector also.
“As part of today’s announcement the Minister confirmed he had allocated £20 million to maintenance and repairs, whilst this is a very much welcome development, the Minister also confirmed in response to my questioning that there remains a backlog of £200 million in repairs across the school estate and I would like to see the Minister take steps to address this continuing backlog which impacts on schools in every parish across the north.”
Bradley added, “Today is a good day for the schools approved, and unfortunately there will be those who haven’t made the approvals list this time. Now we need to see the Minister and his department follow through on today’s commitments and to see construction begin on these projects without any further delays.”
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