Magazine article Public Finance

Northern Ireland Schools to Get £580M Makeover

Magazine article Public Finance

Northern Ireland Schools to Get £580M Makeover

Article excerpt

A £580m programme to replace or renovate 84 schools has been given the go-ahead by Northern Ireland Education Minister Maria Eagle.

The projects had been previously approved, but were put on hold in December when Sir George Bain's review of school provision was published. The school-building will be carried out through seven public-private partnership contracts.

Bain's report concluded that declining pupil rolls meant a programme of school closures and amalgamations was needed.

Eagle's announcement on March 21 means that 84 schools were given the go-ahead and eight schemes previously approved were rejected.

Another six previously agreed schemes are subject to further consideration.

Eagle said: 'The Bain recommendations provide a solid foundation for addressing the real need to improve planning of the schools' estate, to provide quality education for children at a time of falling enrolments and empty classrooms. …

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