THE Department of Education hope to soon be in a position to submit a draft business case to the Department of Finance for the planned development of a new build for Enniskillen Royal Grammar School.

This news follows a request from Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Rosemary Barton to the Minister of Education, Peter Weir, for an update on the development of a new-build for the school.

Minister Weir replied : “An Integrated Consultant Team, Isherwood and Ellis, was appointed to the project in February 2020 to advance the design.

“A RIBA Stage 1 Technical Feasibility report is due to be submitted to the Department at the end of August.

“Following review of this by the Department’s technical advisers, the draft business case will be updated and submitted to the Department of Finance for approval.”

Mrs. Barton said: “I have been pressing the Department of Education for some time to progress education estates development.

“After a long wait, I am pleased that Devenish College and Enniskillen Model schools are now progressing well and [welcome] the recent announcement of funding for a new-build Holy Trinity school.

“I am also aware that other schools have received significant funding in the past decade. With the amalgamation of the two Fermanagh-based grammar schools of Portora Royal and Enniskillen Collegiate, it is imperative that a new-build is progressed as quickly as possible to ensure positive educational experiences for our young people in the future,” she said.

Peter Little, Chairman of the Board of Governors for Enniskillen Royal Grammar School, said: “We welcome the progress, to date, on the new-build for Enniskillen Royal as outlined in the Minister’s reply to the Assembly question from Mrs. Barton. I can confirm a working group of the Board of Governors is working closely with officials from both the Department of Education and the Education Authority and are actively engaging with them to expedite progress through the lengthy Government procurement process.

“The board are confident that the keenly awaited new school buildings will, in due course, provide a suitable and very fitting resource for a school of excellence,” Mr. Little told this newspaper.