The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh has announced 20 schools in Donegal are to benefit from the State-wide €40 million Summer Works Scheme.

Speaking to Donegal Now, Minister McHugh said: “Funding of more than €40 million for Summer Works projects in 2019 will see major improvements in primary and post primary schools in the county.

“I am delighted to be able to make such a substantial amount of money available to schools around the country, and not least those in Donegal.”

Making the announcement as he visited Scoil Cholmcille in Letterkenny, Abbey Vocational in Donegal Town and Gaelscoil na gCeithre Maistrí, Minister McHugh said: “This investment secures money for schools to upgrade windows, meet curricular requirements and make structural improvements to buildings.

“The work will be carried out in schools mainly over the summer months, so the disruption to students, teachers and other staff will be kept to a minimum.

“We have also made sure that schools are getting the notification earlier to try to give principals and boards of management a better lead in time to plan and the deliver their summer works," said Minister McHugh.

A total of 307 schools across the State will benefit from the Summer Works programme 2019.

16 of the schools in Donegal, which will benefit from this round of funding, are primary schools and the rest are post primary.

Projects under the 2019 Summer Works Scheme relate to applications submitted by schools in Categories 7, 8 and 9 under the multi-annual scheme announced in 2015.

Projects under Category 10, which relates to external works such as upgrade and resurfacing of yards and car parking, are undergoing further analysis in 2019 with a view to enabling approved applications proceed in 2020.

The capacity of schools to take responsibility for delivering small and medium-scale projects is a key component of the Summer Works Scheme, said Minister McHugh.

He added: “I am confident that school authorities will be able to achieve best value for money on prices for jobs and I’m urging schools to ensure that they get the maximum benefit for their schools.
“The Government’s Project Ireland 2040 plan included a major package of investment in education for the next decade with the school building budget increasing by 70%.

“This investment will provide for the continued increase in demographics while also allowing for a greater focus on refurbishment and upgrading of existing schools.

“The €40 million Summer Works Scheme demonstrates that the Government is continuing to prioritise capital funding for school buildings which will enhance the learning and working environment for pupils and teachers,” said Minister McHugh.

The Education Minister continued: “I am also committed to a new Summer Works Scheme which will open for applications in early 2019 for projects to be delivered from summer 2020.

“All schools approved for the 2019 Summer Works Scheme should look out for further contact and communication from the Department’s Planning and Building Unit with further details and instructions on how to proceed.

“This year, almost €540 million will be invested in school building infrastructure under the school building and modernisation programme.”

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