Cochrane welcomes Strandtown funding allocation

Alliance East Belfast MLA Judith Cochrane has welcomed the allocation of £4 million to a local primary school.

Strandtown Primary School has been given the money under the Department of Education’s School Enhancement Programme. The funding will be used to construct 12 new classrooms to address existing under-provision at the school.

Judith said she was delighted to have achieved the result in her final weeks as an MLA.

“When I got involved in politics it was not to argue with people or score political points but to deliver changes that would make a real difference to people’s lives. A clear goal, a constant focus and hard work has finally delivered for thousands of children in east Belfast, both now and in the years to come.

“This has been a long process. When I was elected in 2011, Strandtown was one of the first issues raised with me, and I then set about putting a plan in place to explore all avenues to secure the future of the infant-junior model, and the necessary accommodation requirements.

“I invited both the Education Minister and the Chair of the Education Committee to visit the school, I met and corresponded regularly with the then BELB to ensure Strandtown was never off the agenda, and secured over £1 million of investment in 2013 to upgrade the heating system and reconfigure space at the front of the school.

“I also organised residents’ meetings to discuss the planning application and tabled ministerial questions, wrote letters and brought forward adjournment debates to the floor of the Assembly to make the case for Strandtown.

“I commend the Minister for making a commitment to this unique educational setting. With his recent approval on admissions numbers, and now the necessary capital works, he has shown his confidence in the educational provision at Strandtown. I am sure when the recent inspection report is finalised, it will reaffirm that this has been a good decision.

“I can think of no more satisfying way to finish my term of office than to have delivered on this goal.”

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