28/09/2009

College Construction Project Praised

A major educational construction project is taking shape in Co Antrim.

The project, to build an expanded Northern Regional College (NRC) in Newtownabbey, is a sign of the NI Executive's continued investment in young people, which Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has said is paramount.

He was speaking during a visit to the construction site where he was given a tour of an £8.4m project to provide new and improved teaching and ancillary facilities.

He was told that key elements of the accommodation include a new heavy motor vehicle workshop, a new skills centre, refurbishment of existing workshops and a new student social area and dining facility.

The accommodation will be serviced by a new highly efficient biomass heating system, fuelled by locally sourced and sustainable wood pellets.

The Minister congratulated NRC for its vision and the design and build team for its contribution to the delivery of this exciting project.
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Mr Wilson said: "Continued investment in our young people is paramount if we are to improve and enhance our economy.

"This is an exciting project that will develop the learning and social interaction for those attending the campus.

"The Executive is continuing to deliver key projects such as this under its Investment Strategy. Planned capital investment for 2009-10 is expected to be at a similar level to 2008-09.

"The Executive has committed record levels of capital investment in recent years. For example, in 2008-2009, we increased gross capital spend from £1.4billion to £1.7billion, which equates to almost £1million of additional net spend every day.

"This unprecedented level of expenditure has helped our construction industry through what have been very difficult times.

"It is particularly encouraging to see local firms and their supply chains involved in this important project," he said.

Construction work is scheduled for completion in September 2010.

The design and build construction project is being led by the family managed construction firm of H&J Martin Limited.

(BMcC/KMcA)

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