TWO schools in North Belfast are to progress with their new builds – two years after they were first announced.

New build projects for Edmund Rice College in Glengormley and Mercy College on the Ballysillan Road will now progress after Education Minister Paul Givan lifted the pause – caused by the impasse at Stormont.

The two schools are amongst seven across the North which will now progress with plans for a new build. Malone Integrated College at Finaghy is also in line.

The Minister has written to principals following his decision to lift the pause on a number of schools, first announced for capital funding in 2022.

Paul Berne, Principal of Edmund Rice College said: "This is a great day for our school and the most wonderful news for our pupils, staff, governors, trustees and wider community who have campaigned for this for a very long time. 

"In 2022, we were one of 28 to be progressed towards a new school build but shortly afterwards the process was paused by the Department of Education due to budgetary constraints. 

"I am delighted to receive correspondence from the Department to advise that work will now recommence to progress the appointment of an Integrated Consultant Team to make our new school build a reality.

"A new, modern, fit-for-purpose school will be created so that our youngsters in Glengormley, Newtownabbey and North Belfast will have a school truly befitting of them. 

"This is an important step towards ensuring our pupils have the best facilities and opportunities in life. It is no more than they deserve and we can’t wait to get started."

North Belfast MP John Finucane said: "I am pleased that the Minister of Education has announced today that there will be two new school builds in North Belfast.

"Our young people deserve first class educational facilities and it’s great to see these two schools receiving the funding to achieve this.

"It is important that all parties work together in the Executive to build a better future for everyone."