Friday, 8 November 2013
Additional €70 million is being provided to carry out building works and improvements at schools around the country.
It’s great news in particular that the Summer Works Scheme is being reinstated, with €40 million being made available next year for the improvement and upgrading of existing school buildings. This will come as a major boost to many schools around the country which are badly in need of repair.
This Scheme will support approximately 2,400 direct and 480 indirect construction jobs, which is hugely welcome. The Scheme generally allows schools to carry out small and medium scale building works such as gas, electrical and mechanical works, roof and window upgrades and structural improvements.
These works will be carried out next summer, while students and teachers are on holidays, to minimise disruption. At a time when all capital budgets continue to be restricted, it is very positive that this Scheme is being reinstated, and I am sure that it will come as a welcome relief to many schools in Cork.
In addition to the reopening of the Summer Works Scheme, €28 million is being made available through the Minor Works Grant Scheme, in the form of once-off payments to primary schools. This money will be paid to primary schools in the coming weeks and will allow them to carry out small scale repairs. This upfront payment will be welcomed by many schools at this time of year, especially those which are struggling to carry out maintenance works.
Any schools which are interested in these schemes can apply for grants online using the Esinet portal. A Freephone service is also available to assist schools with queries. It can be contacted at 1800 200 955 daily from 10am to 1pm, and 2pm to 4.30pm, from now until 10th December 2013. Schools are expected to identify the most urgently required projects to be funded from the Summer Works Scheme. Each school can then apply for one small scale project and will be responsible for the completion of those works.
I am pleased that the Government is continuing to prioritise the upgrading of school facilities to the benefit of students, parents, teachers and local communities. I hope interested schools in Cork will take the opportunity to apply for these grants without delay.