Curran welcome for schools’ investment

THE news that two primary schools in the Banbridge district are to benefit from Education Mnister John O’Dowd’s £173million investment in the schools estate has been welcomed by Councillor Brendan Curran.

The Sinn Fein councillor said the Minister’s announcement that £16.5 million is to be invested in new builds for St Mary’s Primary School, Banbridge, and Dromore Central Primary School, was good news for the district.

“This investment will provide long-term and much-needed new facilities which will ensure the education of our children well into the future,” he said. “In the short-term, it will alaso create much-needed employment within the construction industry.”

Councillor Curran also pointed out that councillors and council officials had consistently lobbied for Government and private investment in the district.

“This decision is an indication that Minister O’Dowd has listened to and taken on board the council’s argument for primary investment within the area,” he added. “The Education of our youth is fundamental in ensuring the future prosperity of the district and this investment by the Minister will hopefully act as a spur for others to also invest in the area.”

The councillor welcomed Minister O’Dowd’s decision to take steps to speed up the commencement of building work on a number of future projects once future funding is available.

“In the past, new school projects have been delayed for years as a result of difficulties thrown up by the planning procedures,” Mr Curran said. “The Minister’s initiative to move a number of additional projects to stage of planning, which would allow for a quicker start to actual building work once funding becomes available, is good news.”