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Education Village proposals for Omagh demilitarized sites at an advanced stage

18 July, 2007


West Tyrone Sinn Fein MP Pat Doherty says that proposals by Education Minister Caitríona Ruane to develop a state of the art Education Village for the post primary schools as a key anchor project on the demilitarized military sites in Omagh are at an advanced stage as the deadline for expressions of interest for the purchase of the MoD sites expires at the end of this month.

The local MP said,

"The concept of developing a state of the art Education Village for the post primary schools, as a key anchor project on part of these demilitarized sites, was flagged up as a realistic possibility at an early stage.

"Since becoming Minister of Education Caitríona Ruane has been prioritizing the exploration of such a development within her Department and following consultations with stakeholders in the post primary sector in Omagh, she felt that there was sufficient basis on which to proceed to formulating proposals around the concept of an Education Village which would provide a pioneering showcase of excellence for post primary education provision in the six counties. These proposals are now at an advanced stage and I am confident that they will secure the support of the Assembly Executive to give the green light to the Department of Social Development to vest the necessary land for the Education Village.

"Sinn Féin has continually argued for a strategic approach to be taken in regards to utilizing the massive potential of the demilitarized military sites in Omagh so as to ensure the maximum economic and social benefit to the people of Omagh and its hinterlands. So I believe that the proposed pioneering Education Village in Omagh where participating post primary schools would have access to shared facilities and resources of the highest order while still retaining their individual ethos and identity would have massive benefits to the entire community in this area, not least its school children. ENDS

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