Minister Quinn and European Investment Bank President welcome start to construction of eight

12 November 2012 17:51 - Invesis bv

(Press release European Investment Bank:) 12 November 2012 - The Minister for Education and Skills warmly welcomed the start of construction today (Monday 12th November) of eight schools which are being delivered under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. These are the first public sector projects to be funded under the PPP model since June 2010.

These schools in counties Westmeath, Leitirm, Limerick, Galway, Donegal, Wexford and Waterford are the third bundle of schools to be built under the Department of Education and Skills school PPP programme. They are part of the five year school building programme already announced by Minister Ruairí Quinn T.D. earlier this year.

A loan of €45 million has been secured through the European Investment Bank (EIB) which has meant these new schools can now proceed to construction. This represents approximately half the total value of the construction costs.

The eight schools will provide accommodation for approximately 5,700 students. Six of the eight schools are second level schools; while the two remaining schools to be built in Doughiska, Co. Galway are a primary and a secondary school which will share a single campus.

Minister Quinn said: ‘This is very good news for the communities in counties stretching from Donegal to Waterford who have been waiting for their school building projects to be given the green light. I am particularly pleased that the EIB has again decided to support the Department’s schools capital investment programme with a loan of €45 million which will assist in funding this investment. It is a further signal of the bank’s renewed confidence in the Irish State and our recovery programme.’

President of the EIB, Werner Hoyer, said: ‘The landmark agreement to support construction of eight new schools marks the reopening of the PPP sector in Ireland. The European Investment Bank is committed to enabling education investment in Ireland. This project complements EIB support provided in July to build 550 new classrooms and backing to redevelop the University College Dublin a year ago.’

Earlier this year, Minister Quinn unveiled a five year Schools Capital Programme worth €1.5 billion. This will see a total of 275 major school buildings projects commenced between now and 2016. The €45 million loan being provided by the EIB will assist in funding this investment.

The National Development Finance Agency is responsible for advising State Authorities on the best financing of priority public investment projects. These eight schools in PPP Bundle 3 were referred to the NDFA in July 2010 to assist in securing funding.

A preferred tenderer, BAM PPP, was appointed in September 2011 and all planning issues were granted by May of this year. Now that funding has been secured, construction is expected to begin immediately. All schools are expected to be completed by 2014. Their completion will bring the total number of schools delivered under the PPP model in the State to 23.

Since 2008 the European Investment Bank has provided nearly €350 million for investment in schools and universities in Ireland.

Press contacts:

  • European Investment Bank: Richard Willis, +352 621 555 758;
  • Deirdre Grant (for Minister Quinn) +353 86 0484 279

The schools which will be built under PPP Bundle 3 are (Name - Pupil No’s - Brief):

  • Athlone Community College, Co. Westmeath, 1,000, new school building on site of existing school;
  • Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, 400, Greenfield site, amalgamation of 3 schools;
  • Doon, Co. Limerick, 850, Greenfield site, amalgamation of 3 schools;
  • Doughiska Post Primary, Co.Galway, 650, Greenfield site, new school premises;
  • Merlin Woods Primary School (Doughiska), Co. Galway, 450, greenfield site new school premises;
  • Creagh College, Gorey, Co. Wexford, 1,000, greenfield site, new school currently in temporary accommodation on site of primary school;
  • Coláiste Ailigh, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, 350, greenfield site, permanent school for Gaelcholáiste which was amalgamation of 2 schools;
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford, 1,000, greenfield site, amalgamation of 2 schools.