Foyle College has extra time to pay off debt of £ 821,000
Foyle College has until October to raise £ 821,000 it owes the Department of Education, the Derry News can reveal today.
In April, the Derry News learned that Foyle College had appealed for funds to reimburse the ministry.
The local school initially said the money had to be paid back in full by June 30 of this year.
The debt arose after the school moved from Duncreggan Road and Northland Road to a new state-of-the-art campus on Limavady Road in the Waterside.
At that time, the school invested heavily in facilities to ensure that its students received a “first class education”.
Yesterday, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Education (DE) said engagement with the school continues.
He added: “As per normal procedures with schools, the department continues to work with Foyle College to secure repayment of funds associated with their move to the new Limavady Road site.
“The school is undertaking a fundraising campaign to raise the funds necessary to meet this obligation by October 30, 2021.”
Foyle College is a co-ed volunteer high school that has provided high quality education to youth in the city and surrounding areas for over 400 years.
In mid-March, the college sent a letter to alumni and friends of the school asking for financial support.
It was signed by the Director, Mr. Patrick Allen, the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr. Gavin Killeen and the President of the Alumni Association, Mr. Donald Bigger.
The letter explained that the school’s debt had to be repaid by June, otherwise it risked losing its voluntary grammar status and, by extension, its “independence”.
In 2018, the Historic Derry School moved approximately 850 students from Cityside to Waterside.
DE bought the site and the building.
However, to enable students to achieve the academic, athletic, and artistic standards it has set for itself, the local college has invested in additional facilities, including sports fields and additional classrooms.
These upgraded facilities cost £ 2.4million.
About £ 1million of that cost was covered by a previous fundraiser while the school awaited final figures for the sale of its old campuses.
It has since emerged that DE sold the original land for £ 3.4million.
According to Foyle College, the department kept £ 2.8million for grants it had previously given to the old school sites.
This meant that £ 0.6million was available for the school, leaving a deficit of £ 821,000.
In correspondence with alumni and friends of the school, the college said DE’s figures are based on the “clawback” of money spent on a school before it is new construction.
He said: “Because the school has received grants from DE over the past 50 years to fund capital assets in Springtown and Duncreggan, the law provides that DE recovers a portion of these grants against any proceeds from the sale of land owned by the school. school. “
Foyle College has been contacted for comment, but none has been provided at time of posting.