Sinn Féin meet Director of Strule Campus project
Sinn Féin MLA’s Declan McAleer, Catherine Kelly and Michaela Boyle held a meeting with the Director of the Strule Campus project to discuss the delay in the procurement process and seek assurances that the project remains on track.
Speaking after the meeting which took place in Parliament Buildings, Catherine Kelly said “The Strule Education Campus is an iconic project which will offer unprecedented educational opportunities for our young people.
“Sinn Féin has been central to the campus concept from its inception to the creation of its programme board which was chaired by the Sinn Féin Education Ministers and right up until the present day.
“We are delighted that the Arvalee school has opened on site and work has been ongoing for a number of years and myself and party colleagues have been engaging closely with the Department throughout that time.
Declan McAleer added “We received a letter on Friday evening which indicated that there was an issue with the procurement process for the main contract. On foot of this we immediately sought a meeting with the Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) of the campus.
“During the meeting, we were informed that the procurement process was suspended last week due to one of the two contractors who had reached the Invitation To Tender (ITT) stage withdrawing from the tendering competition. The department, who are required to operate within strict procurement rules, concluded that this would not be a fair competition with only one contractor bidding.
“As a result, they suspended the process and are now carrying out an urgent review with the intention of getting the procurement process back on track as soon as possible.
“Importantly, work is still ongoing on the campus site, the Strathroy Link Road is well underway and the department is preparing a planning application for the carriageway scheme on Gortin Road.
“We were told very clearly that the department will deliver the Strule Education Campus and we will play our part as public representatives to make this happen. We pressed the case for the procurement issue to be resolved swiftly so that any unnecessary delays are prevented.”