Ballyclare schools benefit from £850k investment

BALLYCLARE schools have received almost £850k investment since the beginning of the year, the Department of Education has revealed.

Around £848,000 was spent by the department on minor work required to schools in the Ballyclare area between January and March this year.

Work included refurbishment and provision of special needs accommodation at Ballyclare High School; improvements to science room and special needs accommodation at Ballyclare Secondary School and provision of fire alarm and emergency works at Ballyclare Primary School.

Education Minister John O’Dowd said the work would have a “positive impact on pupils, teachers and school staff and provided a much needed boost to the construction industry”.

“Over the past year I have announced that 40 new school building projects are to proceed representing a potential investment of some £353million.

“These major projects obviously generate a significant amount of interest and have a positive impact not only on those individual school communities but also on the local economy.

“However, in addition to these more high profile projects, it is important to note that there continues to be investment in the schools estate on an ongoing basis.”

The Minister also recently announced a further £10million next year to help address the maintenance backlog in schools. This additional funding brings the overall level of maintenance funding in 2013-14 to £37million.

The Minister continued: “I am confident that the ongoing substantial investment in the minor works programmes will help in the drive to improve educational standards. It will also provide much needed support to the construction industry at what is a challenging time for local firms.”