School to meet Minister over new build calls

Education Minister Peter Weir is to visit Carrickfergus Academy as elected representatives continue to press the case for a new build.

Tuesday, 18th February 2020, 11:30 am
Carrickfergus Academy operates at the former Downshire School and Carrick College sites (images by Google).
Carrickfergus Academy operates at the former Downshire School and Carrick College sites (images by Google).

The school, formed after the amalgamation of Downshire School and Carrickfergus College, has operated on a split site since September 2018.

Among those highlighting the need for investment was Ulster Unionist Assemblyman, Roy Beggs. "Last month I highlighted to the Minister the need for capital investment in schools to be linked to the area plan," he said.

"I wrote to his Ministerial Private Office on January 22 having consulted with Carrickfergus Academy. I asked that he visit the school to discuss the need for significant investment following the recent amalgamation of Carrickfergus College and Downshire.

"I am pleased that the Minister has accepted my request to visit Carrickfergus Academy to meet the principal and governors later this month. This meeting will be key in trying to secure Departmental support for significant investment for the new school, following the amalgamation.”

Meanwhile, East Antrim DUP MLAs David Hilditch and Gordon Lyons visited the Academy last Friday along with other political representatives from the area.

"Topics of discussion included difficulties currently facing the school operating over a split site and the ongoing plans for a single site new build," the East Antrim DUP group said.

"We will continue to work with Carrickfergus Academy and other political reps to ensure delivery on this much needed project."

Speaking in response to a query from UUP MLA for the area, John Stewart, the Minister confirmed last week that a "major capital announcement" of schemes will be made in the coming months.