The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D. today announced the signing of the contracts for the commencement of building works in respect of Bundle 5 of the Government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme. This programme, announced as part of the Government’s Stimulus Package measures of July 2012, provides for the construction of four new post-primary school projects and one new primary school project. It also provides for the continuing operation and maintenance of these school projects over a 25 year period after the schools become operational.
The contract, which also includes designing, building, and financing the projects, has been entered into with the Inspiredspaces consortium. The schools and sports pitches will be built by Inspiredspaces on greenfield sites and funded by two international investors, BTMU and Haleba. The cost of these projects is spread over a 25 year period through annual inflation-linked payments called “unitary charges”, the first of which will be made following completion of the first school building in 2017.
The new school building projects are:
Coláiste Raithín, Bray, Co. Wicklow
St. Philomena’s Primary School, Bray, Co. Wicklow
Tyndall College, Carlow
Eureka Secondary School, Kells, Co. Meath
Loreto College, Wexford
Minister Bruton said: “You can’t achieve a prosperous economy without a fair society, and you can’t support a compassionate society without a strong economy. Investment in education is a prime way to grow our society and economy together. Investing in educating improves human capital, ensuring that all our people have opportunities to achieve their potential, as well as generating wider benefits for our economy. Today I am delighted to be able to announce the awarding of the contract for this key infrastructural project which will provide for over 4,500 school places. Quite apart from the construction of these new school buildings, Inspiredspaces will provide for the day-to-day caretaking, maintenance and cleaning of the school leaving the management and staff of the school with more time to concentrate on their core educational activities. The students of these five schools will benefit from the opportunity to learn in new and improved teaching spaces and modern educational facilities built to a very high standard. The first of these school places is expected to be available in September 2017”
The Minister went on to thank all the stakeholders involved in the delivery of this project to this point and, in particular, he thanked all the schools involved. He also thanked the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) for their key role in progressing the Schools Bundle 5 programme.
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, said “The signing of contracts for the construction of five new schools represents an important milestone in the Government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme and illustrates our commitment to investment in education. Putting in place long-term arrangements for developing and maintaining these modern and fit-for-purpose facilities will allow school management to focus on the education of the more than 4,500 students who will benefit from these developments. I look forward to seeing the first of these projects coming on line next year.”
Notes for Editors
· A PPP is a contractual arrangement between the public and private sectors (consistent with a broad range of possible partnership structures) with clear agreement on shared objectives for the delivery of public infrastructure and/or public services by the private sector that would otherwise have been provided through traditional public sector procurement.
· PPP Schools Bundle 5 (SB5) is actually the sixth bundle of PPP schools as the first bundle was a pilot project and is called PPP Pilot Schools. Schools in Schools Bundle 1, Schools Bundle 2, Schools Bundle 3 and Schools Bundle 4 have been operating since 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015 respectively.