Ministerial announcement on Foyle/Ebrington shortly

DUP MLA Gary Middleton has welcomed an indication from Education Minister John O’Dowd that he will be in Londonderry in the next number of weeks for an announcement in relation to the opening of the Foyle College and Ebrington co-location site for development.

“I am delighted that development at the site on the Limavady road will begin within the next few weeks,” said the Foyle MLA.

P2 pupils Abbie McGuire and Emily Mackey show their drawings to Education Minister John O'Dowd MLA, when he paid a visit to Ebrington Primary School on Thursday. Included is Nigel Dougherty, Principal. INLS4411-163KM

P2 pupils Abbie McGuire and Emily Mackey show their drawings to Education Minister John O'Dowd MLA, when he paid a visit to Ebrington Primary School on Thursday. Included is Nigel Dougherty, Principal. INLS4411-163KM

“These new builds will be of significant benefit to our young people and their education. I look forward to continue working with those involved in the future.”

Mr Middleton asked the Minister of Education for an update on the Foyle college and Ebrington PS site in the Waterside, Londonderry at question time on Tuesday (May 12).

Mr O’Dowd replied: “It too is making significant progress.

“I believe that I am attending an event in the next number of weeks in relation to the opening of the site for development.

“That is a very welcome development in your constituency, providing new facilities for Foyle and Ebrington.”

Mr Middleton asked the Minister if he saw further delays to the project given those that have already occurred.

The Education Minister said he didn’t envisage any major problems.

“Let us hope not, but when you go into a major development, all sorts of things can crop up. I expect that, at this stage, site searches will have been done and, if various varieties of knotweed are there, they will have been identified and that all the problems that can arise when you put a major capital programme on site have been identified,” he said.

“I expect a relatively smooth journey towards completion of the project, and I look forward to the official opening in the next number of years,” he added.

Last December the Boards of Governors of Ebrington Primary School and Nursery and Foyle College announced that the plans for the co-location of the two schools at Clooney had finally gone out to tender, with seven Northern Ireland firms involved in the bidding process.

Nigel Dougherty, Principal of Ebrington, said: “Ebrington has a long and proud history stretching back over 114 years. “We will soon have an outstanding new building with excellent facilities which, we hope, will serve the children and the community of the Waterside for the next 50 years.”

Foyle College Principal Patrick Allen: “It is our hope that the new school facilities will provide an inspirational learning environment.”