Local children at Dunluce school in Bushmills are benefiting from valuable funding from the National Trust at the Giant’s Causeway.
Pupils are enjoying new facilities and equipment, following a community partnership between the school and Northern Ireland’s first UNESCO World Heritage site.
Dunluce School received £10,000 from the National Trust, which has been used to refurbish a room into a drama studio and build a nurturing room for first year students.
The school has also bought new musical equipment such as electric drum-kits and key boards and 25 new laptops. The funding has been a fantastic boost for the school, amidst cuts to education funding in Northern Ireland.
Esther Dobbin, Commercial Operations Manager, National Trust Northern Ireland commented: “We have strong ties with the local community and the Giant’s Causeway is a part of the lives of the local people here.
“The National Trust is committed to providing a tourism offering that benefits the community and is sustainable and responsible. We are delighted to continue our partnership with Dunluce School, whose pupils and staff are also involved in our volunteering programme and help us protect the special places and outside spaces that make this region attractive to visitors.
“It is fantastic to see funding from the site making a difference to local schoolchildren.”
Commenting on the Community Partnership, Philip Smyth, Principal of Dunluce School, said: “In the current financial climate, the partnership between the School and the National Trust is mutually beneficial to both parties.
“Most importantly the finance generated is spent locally to benefit children from the North Coast area. We have been able to roll out projects that would otherwise not have been possible and we are grateful to the Trust for the continued links.”
Through this partnership, the school has opened its car park to those visiting the Giant’s Causeway during peak season, supporting the existing park and ride system.
The National Trust has agreed to continue their partnership into 2018, providing a short-term solution to car parking at the world- renowned tourist attraction.
Members of the National Trust team see first-hand the benefits of the funding and look forward to a further year of community partnership.