Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Questions (81)

Lisa Chambers


81. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans for the future for the GMIT Castlebar campus in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26281/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Firstly, I would like to reiterate the Government's commitment to the future sustainability of the Castlebar Campus of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) which was the motivation for establishing the Working Group so as to develop a plan to safeguard the future of the campus.

The Report of the Working Group was published in December 2017. It provides a wide-ranging assessment of the context within which the campus is currently operating and outlines a proposed vision for the future of the Mayo Campus, as well as a strategic and comprehensive plan to address the financial and sustainability issues which have been experienced by the GMIT Mayo Campus.

As the Deputy is aware, the plan includes 33 recommendations, the majority of which are for GMIT to implement. A sub-committee has been established to oversee and monitor the implementation of the working group report. My Department has prioritised the recommendations that relate specifically to the Department. This includes the allocation last year of €750,000 per annum for a period of 5 years to assist the sustainability of the campus. The provision of this additional funding is contingent on GMIT continuing to make progress on implementing the recommendations of the review which is subject to ongoing review by the HEA. My Department also provided the capital funding for the replacement of the roof of the GMIT campus which was in need of repair.

My Department and the HEA are continuing to work closely with GMIT to ensure that all of the recommendations of the report are progressed. The working group report acknowledged the complexities and the necessary implementation time required for a number of the recommendations.

I would like to again assure the Deputy that my Department and the HEA will continue to work with GMIT on ensuring that the recommendations of the Working Group are implemented as soon as possible, and with appropriate consultation with relevant stakeholders, to ensure the future sustainability of the Castlebar campus.