Carrick had ‘no justification’ for new technical school

Carrick councillors reacted angrily to a decisionby Antrim County Education Committee to locate a new technical school in Newtownabbey.

Councillors considered that Carrick had a stronger case for the new facility.

The decision was based on future population expansion.

Carrick mayor TJ Patterson OBE said that it had been a “tremendous disappointment” for the town.

The new school was to be established at a cost of £30,000 to serve both areas.Director of education Mr. KAMacCormac said that he had considered building three technical schools - in Carrick, Glengormley and Rathcoole.

However, he said that after consideration, there was not “sufficient justification” for even two schools.

He said he could not agree that Carrick had a “strong case” as Newtownabbey was expected to have a population of 60,000 in the future whereas Carrick’s population was expected to reach just 30,000.

He said if the school was built in Carrick, transport would be required for 75 per cent of pupils but 44 per cent in Rathcoole and 40 per cent in Whiteabbey. He noted that Carrick had just one “significant” industry, Courtaulds , which employed 1,200 people.