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Lisanelly offer vision of the future for education - Ruane

10 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has said that the former military site at Lisanelly, Omagh, presents a unique opportunity for education.

The Minister was speaking during a visit to the former MOD site, where the development of an educational campus has been proposed.

The Minister said:

"Lisanelly presents a unique opportunity to turn this site into a new source of hope and achievement for the future. There is widespread support to develop a shared educational campus, which could contain schools from a wide range of sectors. A shared campus opens up many possibilities to share resources, which can only benefit the children and young people attending the schools.

"I would commend the work done to date by the Chamber of Commerce, Omagh Council and the Lisanelly Schools Working Group, which is chaired by local church leaders.

"We have six schools expressing an interest in relocating to Lisanelly, and in most cases this could free up important regeneration sites in the town of Omagh itself. The development of an educational campus here could provide first class educational facilities for more than 3,000 pupils in a more co-ordinated and effective way than is possible now. School projects can be developed and delivered together, with facilities planned in a way that allows schools to collaborate and share in delivering education.

"I have previously stated the need to reform education and Lisanelly can offer a real vision for the future of how education can be delivered. All our children and young people deserve to be offered the best educational opportunities in the best surroundings.

"There are a number of stages to go through to make this project a reality and I will work closely with Ministerial colleagues to discuss the obvious merits of the proposals. There are many interests in Lisanelly and by taking a cross-departmental and cross-agency approach we can make this happen for Omagh." ENDS

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