Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

£500k invested in Derry schools estate

Around £500,000 has been invested in Londonderry’s schools estate to date this year.

The money has been spent via the Department of Education's Minor Works Programme between January and March 2013.

Work carried out under the minor works scheme ranges from repairs to more significant refurbishment projects and extensions.

Speaking about the investment, Education Minister John O'Dowd said: “Ongoing investment in the schools estate is having a positive impact on pupils, teachers and school staff and provides a much-needed boost to the construction industry.

“Some 187 minor works contracts totalling £15.6m were awarded in the first quarter of this year with £500,000 of this going to schools in Derry,” he said.

Work carried out in Derry schools includes extension and refurbishment works at Strathfoyle Nursery School, access control at St Columb's College and the installation of an alarm system at Eithne's Primary school. The minister said: “Over the past year I have announced that 40 new school building projects are to proceed representing a potential investment of some £353m.

“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,” he said.

The minister also recently announced a further £10m next year to help address the maintenance backlog in schools.

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