Chancellor reveals £66m funding boost for shared and integrated schools
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a £66m cash injection for 23 Northern Ireland schools.
Philip Hammond said the funding has been earmarked for shared and integrated schools to launch capital projects.
As a result the schools, which teach children from different faiths and backgrounds, will be able to take on more pupils.
Mr Hammond said: "The UK Government is backing these vitally important schools so they can offer a shared education to more children across Northern Ireland.
"Northern Ireland's economy is powering ahead and the UK Government is committed to supporting a bright, shared future, helping more young people here to achieve their full potential."
During his visit, Mr Hammond met pupils and teachers from Rowandale Primary School in Moira, Co Down, one of the schools which is to benefit from the funding.
He also met local business people to discuss how they will be supported by the Government's Autumn Budget.
In total, the Chancellor said shared and integrated schools would get more than £300m in funding from the Budget - boosting pupil numbers by up to 2,200.
Previous plans for 13 shared and integrated schools to get £160m will progress to design and construction phases soon.
Some £76m for other school projects has previously been identified as suitable for funding.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley said: "I am delighted that the Chancellor has d elivered £300m for shared and integrated education in Northern Ireland.
"This is a huge boost for young people and will help break down barriers and overcome divisions in society.
"The UK Government is delivering on our commitment in the Stormont House and Fresh Start agreements to help build a shared, inclusive future for Northern Ireland."
The 23 schools to benefit from the immediate £66m are: Drumlins, Braidside, Roe Valley, Rowandale, Millennium, Mill Strand, Phoenix, Fort Hill, Forge, Enniskillen, Bangor Central, Newbridge, Shimna, Ulidia, North Coast, Fort Hill, Priory, Strangford, Moy Shared Education Campus, Limavady, Ballycastle, Duneane/Moneynick and Brookeborough.