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16 Northern Ireland schools to receive £40m funding for building projects

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Education Minister Peter Weir

Education Minister Peter Weir

Education Minister Peter Weir

Sixteen schools across Northern Ireland are to proceed with building projects after a cash injection of £40m was announced by the Department of Education.

The funding is being provided under the School Enhancement Programme (SEP2), which supports school refurbishment or extension projects valued betwen £500,000 and £4m.

Set up in 2012, the scheme has had two funding calls in which a total of 108 schools have benefited from investment.

Some 58 projects are progressing in design under the second call of the programme, while 50 schools were award funding under the first SEP call.

On Tuesday, Education Minister Peter Weir announced a further 10 primary schools, four post-primary schools and two special schools will receive funding.

Speaking in the Assembly, Mr Weir said: "Improving the schools estate is one of my priorities and in the current unprecedented and difficult times, I hope this announcement will send a strong signal to the local construction industry that the Department of Education is planning for the future and is committed to supporting the local economy through delivery of our capital programme.”

“My Department’s capital programme aims to ensure that all our children and young people are educated in school facilities which are safe, secure and fit-for-purpose, enabling them to receive the quality education experience required to help them to fulfil their potential.

“This announcement today represents another strand of the overall capital programme and indeed, marks the last announcement of the SEP2 projects. Over my term as Education Minister, I will review progress on the 74 announced projects and, subject to satisfactory progress and available budget, will consider if there should be a third call for applications to the programme, as part of the overall capital investment strategy.”

The Department of Education said, due to ongoing SEP2 projects, the additional projects are unlikely to get underway before the 2021/22 financial year, at the earliest.

Belfast Telegraph