Capital Investment Programmes: Update

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 23rd January 2017.

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Photo of Peter Weir Peter Weir DUP 2:30 pm, 23rd January 2017

There are a number of issues there. I suppose that all politics is local, so the Member cannot be blamed for posing that question. Priory Integrated College and Bangor Central Integrated Primary School were part of the Fresh Start announcements. The project boards are moving ahead with those, that money is secure and the programmes will happen, irrespective of what the particular political landscape will be.

I have asked government whether some of the terms of the broader funding can be widened for St Columbanus' College. Its intake makes it what is sometimes referred to as a "super-mixed school", and it should be in a position to benefit from that. As yet, central government has probably been a little bit distracted with other issues, so I have not been able to secure a widening of the terms of reference. Also tied up with that was the examination of what could be done through the school enhancement programme, and it is likely that there will be an announcement fairly imminently on that. That is because we need to get moving with the school enhancement programme to ensure a proper flow of capital. I am acutely aware of the issues. No matter how things move ahead, capital will be available in the future. We have not yet been in the position to make a major capital call, but I think that there will be one very imminently on the school enhancement programme.