Springvale Educational Village Project

Springvale Educational Village Project

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The project to build a higher education campus at Springvale in Belfast was first proposed in 1993, and in 1997 the University of Ulster and the Belfast Institute for Further and Higher Education submitted a joint proposal to the Department of Education in Northern Ireland to build three educational facilities on the site, including a campus for 3, 000 students covering higher and future education courses. This project was designed to develop partnerships between educational providers and local communities to address the particular educational, cultural and social needs of West and North Belfast, as well as benefiting Northern Ireland in general. It was also intended to promote regeneration in an area marked by significant economic and social deprivation and educational underachievement. However, in October 2002, the University announced its withdrawal from the project due to financial concerns over its affordability. At this point, over nine million pounds had been spent on the project, with one of the three planned facilities (a community outreach centre) built and functional. This NIAO report examines the development and management of the project to identify lessons to be drawn for the future, and overall it concludes that, given the length of time spent developing this project and the major public and private funding commitments involved, it should have been handled much better, particularly in terms of risk management. Key lessons highlighted include the need for: an agreed and clear strategic vision from the outset; a single independent body established to oversee project management where two or more institutions are involved; and better communication with local communities on the risks involved to promote realistic community expectations.... by Central Secretariat/Making Belfast Work until 1 997, then by the Department of Education for Northern Ireland (DENI) ... newly-formed Department of Further and Higher Education, Training and Employment, later renamed the Department anbsp;...

Title:Springvale Educational Village Project
Author:Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Audit Office
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2006


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