McKay welcomes School Enhancement

Daithi McKay.
Daithi McKay.

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has welcomed the significant amount of funding invested in local schools as part of the School Enhancement Programme.

He also said that the work initiated by the previous Minister John O’Dowd should be completed by the new Minister Peter Weir and that he would be lobbying him to ensure that the works are completed.

Mr McKay said: “To date £5.8million has been earmarked to be spent on schools in Ballymoney, £4million on St Louis in Ballymena and £3.8 million on Slemish College in Ballymena.

“It is important that the new Education Minister follows through on the groundwork that has been laid by his predecessor John O’Dowd who made huge capital investments in North Antrim’s schools.

“I will be continuing to lobby the new Education Minister to ensure that these projects are completed.”

The news was revealed after Mr McKay submitted a question asking the Minister of Education to detail how much has been spent on School Enhancement Programmes in North Antrim.

It was disclosed that the Department’s School Enhancement Programme (SEP) for school refurbishment or extension schemes costing between £0.5 - £4m represents a significant investment in the schools estate. There are currently four SEP schemes in North Antrim and to date £4,449,098 has been spent, with a further £3,161,377 in FY 16/17, £1,925,000 in FY 17/18 and £52,000 in FY 18/19.

The breakdown of these Ballymoney figures were:

A two-storey extension for Ballymoney High School is being managed by the Education Authority (EA) and has an approved cost of £3.8m. This scheme is almost complete with £3,353,000 spent to date.

Total remaining spend in FY 16/17 is estimated to be £618,000 with a further £6,000 in F/Y 17/18.

The provision of new sports facilities for Dalriada School in Ballymoney, has an approved cost of £2.2m.

This scheme is at an advanced stage with current cash expenditure to date of £922,075.

The remaining spend in FY 16/17 is estimated to be £1,142,377 with a further £27,000 in F/Y 17/18.