Shared campus plan for north Belfast

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Secondary schools in an area of Belfast plagued by conflict will benefit from a world-class shared educational sports campus.

There are plans to build a new sports hall, teaching rooms, sports science labs, fitness suite, and a host of floodlit outdoor sports pitches.

The massive Lilliput Complex, which will advantage children and their families living in lower north Belfast, is one of 15 projects competing for government shared education funding.

The project aims to establish a shared education sports campus on Shore Road close to the loyalist Mount Vernon estate.

The partner schools involved, who include Loughshore Alternative Education, Little Flower Girls’ School and Hazelwood Integrated College, all have their own physical education and sports facility deficits.

New facilities will allow individual and joint school access to deliver physical education, competitive sports and shared classes.

There will be many shared topics taught including GCSE and A level physical education for the secondary schools, BTECs and sports science qualifications.

The group behind the funding bid says lower north Belfast remains a highly polarised and segregated environment.

Almost half of the 88 identified interface barriers in Belfast are located in the north of the city.

“Although political progress and hard work in local communities have decreased tensions and drastically reduced levels of politically motivated violence, there are still a number of issues impacting upon communities in north Belfast,” the group says.

The educational programme, it adds, is still very much in the embryonic phase, “but the benefits of doing something in this locality far outweigh the economic and educational costs of doing nothing”.

“The majority of the educational benefits will be focused on that of physical education and community relations.

“All of the partner schools and those intending to use the proposed facilities will have a net positive benefit in terms of their education.”


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