February 25, 2024

Phelan welcomes next phase in major education investment in Kilkenny

Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan, has welcomed Minister Simon Harris’ go ahead for next phase of proposal development for the €40 million capital investment  to allow Kilkenny Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB) to proceed to the next stage in developing a proposal for a College of The Future (COTF)

“This project  includes the acquisition of a site in Kilkenny where a new state-of-the-art education and training campus will be developed to consolidate the delivery of skills provision in one location for the entire county for over 12,000 students.”

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “This is a brilliant day for Kilkenny and for Kilkenny Carlow ETB. Kilkenny has been chosen as one of ten locations to proceed to develop a further education College of the Future.

“We have already been across the country announcing similar projects, and I’m delighted today to deliver the good news for Kilkenny.

“FET provision in Kilkenny is currently scattered around 14 locations in the city, including an old school building and various leased facilities. This proposal envisages bringing them all together at one state-of-the-art facility, delivering the best integrated and learning supports possible, while also providing fantastic opportunities for apprenticeships.

“The College of the Future Major Projects Fund will support the implementation of the vision set out in the Further Education Strategy. This Fund, and the proposed development in Kilkenny, has the potential to deliver on a range of strategic objectives. It is great that the proposal will now proceed to Preliminary Business Case Stage.”

The news comes after another announcement earlier this year which saw KCETB given approval in principle under the Strategic Infrastructure Upgrade Fund (SIUF) programme to appoint a design team for a project in Grennan Equestrian Centre, Thomastown.

Deputy Phelan described KCETB as “one of Ireland’s most progressive education and training boards” in the country and warmly welcomed its intention to develop a Further Education and Training College campus in Kilkenny, providing provision across Levels 1 – 6, including both full time and part time courses.

“Grennan Equestrian centre is owned by KCETB and the investment will see it transition into a Further Education and Training College. It already has both specialist facilities and space for horses and the equestrian programmes.

“Thomastown is already a hive of creativity with significant supports and training opportunities for those involved in craft and in food. Further enhancing its appeal and making significant investment in a major equestrian centre would have huge economic and social spin-offs for Thomastown itself and the surrounding hinterland. I will be supporting this investment all the way,” Deputy Phelan said at the time.

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