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Thursday, 1 March, 2001, 13:58 GMT
Cash boost for school projects
School projects are to benefit
Northern Ireland's education minister, Martin McGuinness, has announced a 132m investment package for building work on schools.

Seventeen school projects will benefit from an investment of over 62m spread across 13 new primary schools, two new special schools, and two post-primary schools.

The second part of the package amounts to 70m and provides for up to eight secondary school projects.

These will be taken forward under Public Private Partnerships (PPP) subject to value for money deals being secured with private sector companies.

Announcing the programme on Thursday, Mr McGuinness said the investment was an excellent example of local politics working.

"I am confident this programme will reap tangible benefits for our children and teachers," he said.

Martin McGuinness: Announced huge investment package
Martin McGuinness: Announced huge investment package

"It will further strengthen the economy by creating more jobs in the construction industry and will contribute to the executive's commitment to create a strong and vibrant economy."

He said that since he took up his post he had repeatedly highlighted the legacy of under-funding which he inherited.

But, he said, he had now sought the necessary resources to meet the backlog of capital investment.

"I am totally committed to improving the education infrastructure across all school sectors, but the number and cost of projects competing for a place in the capital programme far exceed the resources available to me."

Mr McGuinness indicated that this investment was in addition to the expenditure currently being incurred in capital and maintenance work in schools.

Project details

Primary schools: New maintained school in Drumbo parish, Carryduff; Amalgamation of Our Lady & St Mochua's Primary Schools, Keady; Amalgamation of Innismagh & Ballygawley Primary Schools; Amalgamation of St James' & St John's Primary Schools, Hillsborough.

New schools to replace All Children's Controlled Integrated, Newcastle; St Patrick's, Donaghmore Dungannon; St Kevin's, Falls Road, Belfast; St Patrick's Pennyburn, Derry; Ballydown, Banbridge; Finaghy, Belfast; Cavehill, Belfast; Gibson, Omagh; Damhead, Coleraine

Special Schools: New schools on the site of Strabane Special School and Clifton Special School, Bangor.

Secondary Schools: First phase of extension work to replace existing accommodation at St Paul's High School, Bessbrook; a new school to replace existing sub-standard accommodation at Oakgrove Integrated College, Londonderry.

Public/Private partnerships projects: New school for 1,950 pupils providing for the rationalisation of St Colman's High School, Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School and Convent Grammar School, Strabane.

Extension and refurbishment of St Cecilia's College, Derry; extension to St Mary's College, Derry; amalgamation of the former Coleraine Boys' and Girls' Secondary Schools; extension of Masserene College, Antrim and Parkhall High, Antrim; a new school for Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College; a new school for Comber High School.

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