Education Minister Michelle McIlveen has commented on today’s news that the Ballycastle Shared Education Campus has received planning approval from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
The Minister said: “I am pleased that planning permission has been granted for this unique project, which represents a huge investment of £50million of Fresh Start funding. This scheme marks a new era for Ballycastle High School and Cross and Passion College, providing a brand new shared campus and top quality sports facilities.”
The scheme is funded under the Fresh Start Programme of works for Shared and Integrated Education.
“These two schools have a long and successful history of sharing and working together, for the benefit of their pupils and staff. While both schools will continue to retain their own individual identities and ethos within the new campus, the state of the art accommodation will allow them to further improve their already close relationship.”
“The project also brings significant opportunities to benefit the wider community, with investment planned from the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to enhance the sports facilities on the site for community use. Furthermore, the project will include additional purpose built Youth Club facilities to enhance the programmes and services provided on site by the Education Authority.”
Paul McClean, Principal of Cross and Passion College said: “I am delighted that planning permission has been granted for this wonderful opportunity for the young people, and wider community, in North Antrim. The Cross and Passion Order established a school in the town in 1913, opening on the Moyle Road in 1924. It is a tribute to their legacy, and the many staff and governors from both schools since then, that this special and celebrated project is being furthered, 100 years later.
Each year the two schools welcome visitors from across the world, keen to gain insight into how Ballycastle High School and Cross and Passion College provide unique experiences in their own rights, but also enhance their provision through sharing pupil learning and staff development opportunities, via their close working relationship.
For many years, the pupils of this school have enjoyed outstanding academic success, notable extracurricular experiences and been shaped in the core values of the Cross and Passion order. All of these characteristics are retained and further developed, by working in partnership with Ballycastle High School. This investment protects the history, as well as the futures, of both schools and I am excited for our school community, as well as our partners in Ballycastle High, as we reach this significant milestone in the project.”
Ian Williamson, Principal of Ballycastle High School, said: “We are very pleased that our desire for a Shared Education Campus in Ballycastle has reached this exciting juncture. The school community can look forward to modern educational facilities which will benefit the pupils of both schools and the wider Ballycastle community. It is testament to the vision and dedication of our predecessors that we have reached this significant stage. We will gain much from our sharing arrangement with Cross and Passion College and build on the rich heritage of Ballycastle High School.
“Founded in 1911 on the Quay Road Hall site, the school moved in 1931 to the site of the current Ballycastle Integrated Primary School and then in 1960 moved to the current site on Rathlin Road. Having served this community for 121 years, we are very much looking forward to retaining the ethos, governance and identity of Ballycastle High school and consolidating the shared partnership with Cross and Passion College.”
“What has been achieved in Ballycastle is a unique opportunity to realise significant benefits for the young people of this area. This is being achieved in a school campus arrangement which safeguards the individual integrity, ethos and identity of both schools but maximises the opportunities of sharing in that context. These curricular and extra-curricular opportunities will add significant value to the experience of our pupils and the wider community.”
“We want to add our sincere thanks to all key stakeholders who have worked over the last number of years to achieve this fantastic outcome.”