Alliance demands that vacant sites be sold to save threatened schools

Alliance Education spokesperson, Naomi Long, has demanded that the Department of Education work with education boards to sell 64 vacant sites to help save threatened schools. The BELB, SEELB, Eastern, Southern and Western Boards are currently slashing education and library provision when they could sell off vacant sites to free up cash.

The East Belfast Assembly Member said: “The Boards should be looking into selling off any unused sites to ensure that schools do not face closure and to ensure that threatened libraries are retained.

“The Department of Education needs to cooperate with the boards to ensure that sites can be sold and money can be ploughed back into delivering high quality education in Northern Ireland.

“Only last week, I was part of an Alliance deputation which met with SEELB Commissioners in a bid to save Lisnasharragh High School. This school, and others currently under threat, provide a vital service to their local communities and cash should be freed up through the sale of surplus land to help save these schools.

“Considering that over 60 sites are currently unused, it would be very wasteful if the boards and Department of Education did not try to use these sites to finance services here.

“The department and boards should be doing all in their power to save threatened resources and schools.

Naomi Long concluded: “This situation needs to be addressed immediately, to ensure that the people of Northern Ireland do not lose key services, when they could potentially be saved by selling vacant sites.”


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