Huge boost for local schools after £11.8m investment announced
Newry Times can exclusively reveal that three Newry schools will receive nearly £12m in new facilities as part of a £173million investment in the schools estate. St Clare’s Convent and St Colman’s Abbey Primary School are set to receive £6million and St Joseph’s Convent Primary School in Newry has been allocated £5.8million.
Education Minister, John O’Dowd, made the announcement today as he addressed the Assembly on the future of his capital programme. Speaking, after unveiling the list of new builds, Mr O’Dowd said:
“Since taking on the role of Minister for Education I have visited schools in each and every sector of education provision. The common factor across the estate has been the clear need for considerable investment in infrastructure. The need for investment far exceeds the funding available. While I would like to be in a position to fund everything that needs doing now, I must work within the budget available. This means difficult decisions on future investment plans.”
He continued, “These schools come from right across the north and were identified as the highest priority projects following a rigorous selection process. Furthermore, I am particularly aware of the need to ensure we support the most vulnerable in our education system. No-one visiting our special schools could remain unmoved by the needs of the children attending these facilities.
“I would dearly like to be able to advance every deserving case immediately. However, within the limits of the funding available to me, I am determined that we make progress with a number of cases at this time.”
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