Belfast Telegraph

North Schools celebrate facelift boost

By Rebecca Petticrew

Four schools across north Belfast and Newtownabbey are celebrating after securing funding for "enhancement" projects.

Belfast Royal Academy, St Malachy's College, St Bernard's Primary School and Belfast High School are among 50 schools set to receive capital investment of between £500k and £4m for refurbishment or extension projects under the School Enhancement Programme (SEP).

The total investment across the province, worth a potential £106m, will fund the replacement of mobile classrooms with permanent built structures; refurbishment of existing accommodation and the provision of sports facilities.

Announcing the news, Education Minister John O'Dowd said: "Last year I signalled my intention to establish a School Enhancement Programme. The purpose of this programme was to ensure that we provide the best possible education estate for our children and young people, within the budget available.

"The successful projects are all consistent with the emerging area plans and the scale of the investment underlines my continuing commitment to improving the schools estate.

"It comes in addition to the major works projects worth £350m I have announced since last summer; in addition to the £31m I have invested in minor works since January; and in addition to the £47m I have earmarked for maintenance this year."

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