£66 million for shared and integrated education in Northern Ireland
Chancellor announces £66 million of immediate funding for 23 schools on visit to Northern Ireland
• Over £300m of funding could provide 2,200 more places at shared and integrated schools
• He will also meet local businesses to discuss how the government’s Budget will support them
Pupils at shared and integrated schools across Northern Ireland will benefit from £66 million of immediate funding for capital projects at 23 schools, the Chancellor announced during a visit today (Friday 23 November).
Additionally, a further £160m of projects at 13 previously announced shared and integrated schools will progress through to design and construction phases - once they’ve passed a final value for money assessment. Some £76m of other school projects have also been identified as suitable for funding and will now begin developing proposals.
The funding helps schools in Northern Ireland, that teach children from different faiths and backgrounds, expand and take on more pupils. The Chancellor announced in the Budget that shared and integrated schools would benefit from over £300 million in funding, which could boost the number in these schools by 2,200.
The Chancellor will visit one of the schools benefitting from the funding where he will meet pupils and teachers.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said:
"The UK Government is backing these vitally important schools so they can offer a shared education to more children across Northern Ireland.
"Northern Ireland’s economy is powering ahead and the UK Government is committed to supporting a bright, shared future, helping more young people here to achieve their full potential."
Today’s announcement builds on the UK Government’s support for Northern Ireland’s education system, infrastructure and economy. Northern Ireland has seen the fastest productivity growth since 2010 in the UK. The Budget announced £350m for a Belfast City Region Deal and opened negotiations for a Derry/Londonderry and Strabane City Region Deal.
Later in the visit, the Chancellor will meet small businesses at an event organised by the Federation of Small Businesses. He will discuss the recently announced budget measures that support growth and investment - and what more the government can do to support entrepreneurs.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, said:
"I am delighted that the Chancellor has delivered £300 million for shared and integrated education in Northern Ireland. This is a huge boost for young people and will help break down barriers and overcome divisions in society.
"The UK Government is delivering on our commitment in the Stormont House and Fresh Start agreements to help build a shared, inclusive future for Northern Ireland."