Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today announced capital investment for both Louth and Meath.
Two projects in Drogheda and Navan are to be part of a first phase of projects to be advanced under the Further Education and Training (FET) Strategic Infrastructure Upgrade Fund (SIUF)
Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “Today is a really great day as we continue our investment in further education and training. Today, we are announcing considerable investment in projects in Drogheda and Navan.
“This significant capital programme will extend capacity at Drogheda Institute of Further Education through the development of a new flexible multi-purpose built tertiary education facility.
“Importantly this is a key response to the Geiran Report on Drogheda – which set out an ambition to “Create a bridge to a Better Future” for Drogheda.
“The second and equally important project is at Louth Meath ETB’s offices and site at Abbey Road in Navan consolidating facilities and giving Youthreach a permanent, fit for purpose centre.”
The development in Drogheda will provide teaching spaces and other facilities, including community accessible spaces. The new facility will enable greater opportunities for more integrated planning and delivery locally and regionally.
In Navan, it envisages the modification of the existing administration buildings for the purposes of Further Education and Training provision. This will serve the Navan area and beyond.
The Minister said: “I want to pay tribute to the advances made in the region under the leadership of Louth Meath ETB. This investment announced today demonstrates their vision for the people of Louth and Meath. These projects will serve our learners and support strategic objectives for a more integrated tertiary education.
“It will help consolidate the Education and Training Board estate, enhance spaces for Further Education and training provision and improve Youthreach infrastructure in the region.”
Funding for these two projects will be provided through SOLAS to LMETB. The two projects announced today will now move forward to the appointment of a design team, with a view to development of a more detailed project brief in consultation with relevant stakeholders.
Chief Executive of SOLAS, Andrew Brownlee, said: “Further Education & Training has a unique and special value both for learners and for our communities - and these learners and communities deserve cutting edge facilities and equipment. The continued investments in capital infrastructure being made, including today in Louth and Meath, are very welcome steps that will mean our FET facilities reflect the modern, dynamic nature of FET provision in 2022.
“This is a proud day for both SOLAS and Louth Meath ETB, and most importantly, it’s an exciting day for all of the current and future learners in the FET system in the Drogheda and Navan regions. The FET Strategic Infrastructure Upgrade Fund is an investment in our shared ambitious vision for the future of FET, and an important step forward for Louth and Meath in terms of expanding capacity, building up the area’s skills portfolio and, crucially, best serve the many and diverse FET learners who are at the heart of everything that we do.”
Martin G O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer of LMETB, and member of the Drogheda Implementation Board, said “We thank Minister Harris and the team in SOLAS for this infrastructural investment in Drogheda. It will enable LMETB and DIFE to meet labour demands and the needs of learners and communities in the greater Drogheda region.
“Preparing our people for careers has never been more important. Our aim is to continue to deliver high quality learning and teaching environments for the people in our region. Our strategic and innovative developments throughout the LMETB region is testament to our visions and ambitions, and with this latest investment, even more people will be prepared for life and the world of work.’’