Local schools given massive cash boost

Local schools given massive cash boost

9 May 2018

TWO local schools will be given a multi-million pound overhaul following a major funding announcement.

The Department of Education has confirmed major investment in Killyleagh Integrated Primary School, which is expected to be given a £3million injection, along with around £1million for Knockevin Special School in Downpatrick.

The money will be used to fully refurbish the Killyleagh school, which is in an 80 year-old building, while temporary accommodation at Knockevin Special School will be replaced with a purpose-built five classroom extension.

The announcement, which was made yesterday afternoon by Permanent Secretary Derek Baker, has been welcomed by the principals of both schools.

Mr Jason Milligan, of Killyleagh Integrated Primary School, said he was delighted to have confirmation of the funding following several years of lobbying.

He said it was particularly welcome following the school’s recent transformation to integrated status.

“The school, which dates back to 1939, is a landmark in the town and to be able to bring it up to 21st century standards will be great,” he said.

“We have been pushing for this for years and it is to be very much welcomed. Although we do not 

have the figures for the budget we hope it will be at the upper end of the scale which is from £500,000 to £4million.”

Mrs Ann Cooper, from Knockevin Special School, said she was also delighted with news for her school.

“We have been lobbing for this for quite some time because accommodation has not been fit for purpose,” she said.

“The project will include the replacement of five mobile classrooms and we will be pushing for it to start as soon as possible.”

News that Killyleagh Integrated Primary School will undergo major refurbishment has been welcomed by local councillor William Walker who said it was “well deserved” for the school community..

He lobbied for the redevelopment with Strangford MP Jim Shannon who said a delegation had met in his office to discuss “the deplorable state of the roof and the school”.

“I am pleased they have been successful in that application,” Mr Shannon said.

“Whilst at this stage we are not sure how much funding has been allocated, it is good news for the school and I am pleased that officials took our meeting seriously and understood the needs of the school.”