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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 April, 2004, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Funding boost for schools
Education graphic
There are 12 new schools planned under public private partnership

Forty-three new schools are to be built in Northern Ireland in an expansion plan worth more than 200m.

The Department of Education will directly fund 31 schools, most of them primary.

The most expensive direct funding will mean almost 18m for Banbridge Academy in County Down.

St Colman's College in Newry, County Down, will get 10m for a new school.

In addition to the money being spent directly by the government, 12 new schools are planned under the public private partnership.

Ballinderry Primary School 2.6m
Ballymacrickett Primary School 3.7m
Ballymena - 2 new maintained schools 6.9m
Banbridge Academy 17.9m
Brookfield Special School, Moira 4.8m
Burnfoot, Dungiven and Largy Primary Schools amalgamation 1.1m
Carnalridge Primary School, Portrush 2.3m
Carrick Primary School, Warrenpoint 2.4m
Coranny & Cornagague Primary Schools amalgamation 1.8m
Dromintee Primary School 1.8m
Dromore Central Primary School 5.9m
Enniskillen Integrated Primary School 2.8m
Fourtowns Primary School, Ahoghill 2.4m
Killen Primary School 1.1m
Lisbellaw Primary School 2.3m
Lisnagelvin Primary School 4m
Magherafelt Primary School 3.8m
Maralin Primary School 3.3m
Moneydarragh Primary School, Annalong 1.6m
Moorfields Primary School, Ballymena 1.9m
St Colman's College, Newry 10.1m
St Colman's Primary School, Lambeg 3.3m
St Columcille's Primary School, Carrickmore 2.7m
St Joseph's Primary School, Ballymartin 1.6m
St MacNisius Primary School, Antrim 1.3m
St Oliver Plunkett Primary School, Forkhill 1.8m
St Patrick's and St Brigid's Primary School, Ballycastle 3.9m
St Paul's Primary School, Irvinestown 2.3m
St Peter's Primary School, Cloughreagh 3.3m
Strand/Sydenham Primary School Belfast 2.7m

That means commercial companies will pay for them and take annual payments as a type of mortgage.

The investment was announced by NIO Education Minister Barry Gardiner on Tuesday.

He said he was determined to "deliver schools fit for the 21st century for every child".

"As a result of the government's Reinvestment and Reform Initiative, we are now ready to bring together the commitment and vision of those who run schools in the state and voluntary sectors with the skills and capital of the private sector," said the minister.

"Previously, the schools capital allocations announcements have focussed on a limited group of schools, which are the subject of specific funding.

"In future, we will have a new focus on delivery that addresses more fully the range of needs and demands across the whole of Northern Ireland. By 2010, we will have addressed the existing known capital needs backlog on the schools estate."

Mr Gardiner said the schemes signalled a rolling programme "that heralds the largest ever school renewal programme in Northern Ireland's history".

The move was reversing a long period of under-investment in schools, said the minister.

"The aim is to provide flexible, inclusive, attractive learning environments that teachers want to teach in and in which pupils want to learn.

"A managed release to the market for this and subsequent tranches of the investment is essential. This will allow school authorities to maximise the number of bidders for each project, maintaining competition and ensuring value for money deals are achieved."

The department is to work with the Strategic Investment Board and the Department of Finance and Personnel to assess quality and delivery of the programme.

The schemes being funded through public private partnerships are Ballymoney High School (13.1m); Belmont House Special School, Londonderry, (6.6m); Enniskillen High School/Duke of Westminster High Schools (16.7m); Erne Special School (5.2m); Greenwood Assessment Centre, Belfast (3.2m); Holy Trinity College, Cookstown (14.6m); Limegrove Special School, Limavady/Glasvey Special School, Ballykelly (6m); Loreto Grammar School, Omagh (14.6m); Mitchell House Special School (7.9m); Rainey Endowed School, Magherafelt (14.3m); Rosetta Primary School, Belfast (1.8m) and Strabane Grammar School (10.6m).

BBC NI's Maggie Taggart:
"That means commercial companies will pay for them and take annual payments as a type of mortgage"

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