NI Executive is urged to fund Roddesnvale School hydrotherapy pool

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EAST Antrim MLA Roy Beggs Jnr has urged the Stormont Executive to make construction a long-awaited hydrotherapy pool at Roddesnvale School a top priority.

The Ulster Unionist Assemblyman said the Larne school for children and young people with special needs should be one of a number of “shovel-ready” projects on a shortlist for money originally designated for the A5 road scheme, which has now been shelved.

Commending the staff on a recent inspection report, which noted a good quality education and outstanding pastoral care, Mr Beggs told the Assembly today that one of the biggest outstanding issues is the pool, which would benefit the most disadvantaged children, and which had origignally been planned when the school was built.

“Planning permission was successfully obtained in October, 2009. Funding was originally awarded, but it was ultimately lost as a result of a legal challenge. That detailed bit of work has been left in limbo ever since,” he added.

Mr Beggs asked Education Minister John O’Dowd to find out whether funding can be made available to “put that very worthwhile project in place for the benefit of these most disadvantaged children”.

“I notice that the A5 project has recently been cancelled, so ministers are looking for shovel-ready projects. Minister, that is a shovel-ready project. It has planning permission, and it just needs the money. So, I ask you to take it back to the Executive so that you can ensure that some of our most disadvantaged children are helped,” he added.