Schools are being invited to apply for financial support for capital projects costing up to £4million.
Education Minister, Peter Weir today announced the second call for the School Enhancement Programme (SEP) as he viewed progress on the £2.9million improvement project at Sullivan Upper School, Holywood. The project will provide a 3G hockey pitch with floodlighting and a stand-alone two-storey pavilion which will include a gymnasium and space for drama and dance.
Peter Weir said: “The new School Enhancement Programme will target investment at schools which have immediate and pressing needs but where new builds are not deemed affordable or deliverable within the capital budget available. Schools can apply to the programme for a project costing between £0.5m up to £4 million.
“I fully expect the second call to mirror the continuing success of the first SEP call which was announced in March 2014 and, to date, has delivered a total investment of over £136million across 53 projects.
“I have been fortunate to see a number of these schemes which include extensions, new sports halls, drama studios and 3G pitches. All of them have made a real and positive difference to the staff and pupils.”
The Department’s strategy for capital investment has been, and will remain, focused on supporting the development and delivery of a network of viable and sustainable schools, shaped by the outworking of the Area Planning process.
Concluding the Minister said: “In addition to this SEP call I am continuing to advance the programme of major capital builds as well as a sizeable programme of much needed minor works across the estate. I am also investing substantially in maintenance works across all schools, despite the considerable constraint on the resource budget.
“This announcement today is not only good news for schools but it will also represent a welcome boost to the economy, especially the construction industry, over the coming years as projects come to fruition.”
The written statement to the Assembly can be downloaded here.
The School Enhancement Programme Second Call Protocol for selection and Application Form can be found on the Department of Education website here.
On 12 December 2016 Peter Weir officially opened a new 3G pitch at Integrated College Dungannon which was funded through the School Enhancement Programme and is part of an overall investment of approximately £3.5million. When complete, the project will also deliver a new two-storey sports hall including a fitness room and drama/dance studio.
At the opening the Minister said
“The School Enhancement Programme is having very real benefits on our schools estate, providing much needed facilities and creating a better place for pupils to learn and flourish in.
“It gives me great pleasure to celebrate the official opening of the new 3G pitch at Integrated College Dungannon and to view the progress of the new sports hall which will benefit pupils for generations to come.”
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