Holywood Multi-schools Project: Update

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:15 pm on 21st September 2021.

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Photo of Stephen Dunne Stephen Dunne DUP 2:15 pm, 21st September 2021

9. Mr Dunne asked the Minister of Education for an update on the Holywood multi-schools project. (AQO 2445/17-22)

Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP

The Holywood multi-schools project is not currently within the Department's major capital investment programme of announced schemes. The only major capital project for a controlled school in the Holywood area is for Priory Integrated College, which was announced by Theresa Villiers, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, on 23 March 2016 as part of the Fresh Start programme. Any project to be taken forward needs to be included in a future capital announcement. I intend to make an announcement for a major works call by the end of the financial year.

Photo of Stephen Dunne Stephen Dunne DUP

I thank the Minister for her answer. The multi-schools scheme that she mentioned, involving Holywood Primary School, Holywood Nursery School and Priory Integrated College, has been in the system for a considerable number of years. I welcome that commitment. All three are crying out for investment. Can the Minister provide a detailed timeline for further progress, particularly in relation to Priory Integrated College?

Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP

The Department of Finance has approved a business case for a new-build school and associated external works at a site at Redburn, Holywood. That new building will accommodate the school's approved enrolment of 600 pupils and enhance the provision of integrated education in Holywood, east Belfast and north Down. In February 2020, the Education Authority appointed an integrated consultant team to complete the design and oversee the development of the new provision for Priory Integrated College. The project is at RIBA design stage 2.

It is anticipated that the construction work will commence in summer 2023, with the school moving to its new Redburn site in summer 2025. That will be dependent on achieving the relevant statutory approvals, however.

Photo of Alex Maskey Alex Maskey Sinn Féin 2:30 pm, 21st September 2021

That ends the period for listed questions. We now move on to 15 minutes of topical questions. I advise Members that topical question 8 has been withdrawn.