Wed, 06 Jul 2022

Schools benefit from Pound 1.37m funding - Hargey

Northern Ireland Executive
25 Mar 2022, 22 GMT+10

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has marked the completion of a programme that has delivered improvements in 15 schools across Belfast.

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has marked the completion of a programme that has delivered improvements in 15 schools across Belfast during a visit to St Malachy's Nursery School.

The funding of Pound 1.37m from the Department for Communities has transformed the outdoor play areas, improved school facilities and enhanced the learning experience for children and young people. 

The projects, which were delivered by the Education Authority, in 15 Primary and Nursery schools throughout Belfast including at St Malachy's Nursery School, where the Minister conducted the official opening of their new facilities.

Minister Hargey said:

"These facilities have not only provided sources of fun and enjoyment for young people attending the schools but have also enhanced the local environment. 

"The past couple of years have been difficult for children as they have been out of their routine and separated from peers.  We know play is such an important part of their development where lessons of fairness, friendship and team building are learnt. 

"This new play park, and the other schemes in nursery and primary schools throughout Belfast, will also help promote an active lifestyle and a sense of adventure.  

"It was a great pleasure to see the children at St Malachy's Nursery School enjoying their new play park.  I am delighted this funding has delivered a fun and improved environment for many children across Belfast."

The works varied based on school requirements and included soft landscaping, trim trails, eco gardens, new play equipment, replacement of fencing and gating to improve and enhance the appearance of the schools, creating/improving safe outdoor play areas for the children to learn, develop and play.

Roger Sayers, the Education Authority's Assistant Director for Operations and Estates, said:

 "The Education Authority is delighted to see this programme of investment in outdoor play and learning facilities reach completion.  Thousands of children across Belfast are already thoroughly enjoying their new state-of-the-art outdoor areas, all of which were designed to best meet the unique needs of the individual schools and the wider communities.  The physical and mental health benefits of outdoor play-based learning are well known and the feedback that the EA has had from the children, their parents and their teachers has been extremely positive."

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