Education Minister Joe McHugh T.D. has today (Sunday August 11) announced funding of €1.8m towards significant building upgrades at the School of Tourism at Letterkenny IT (LYIT) Killybegs Campus.
The funding is being provided under Project Ireland 2040 which commits to Exchequer investments of €2.2 billion in higher education infrastructure over the coming decade.
Minister McHugh said: “I am delighted to announce this funding under Project Ireland 2040 for the LYIT School of Tourism in Killybegs. This investment will enable significant upgrades to the existing structures, while the relocation and upgrade of the library space to the main campus building will provide a much needed focal point for students and staff.
“In providing this funding, the Government is acknowledging the important role the School of Tourism has played, and continues to play, particularly as it celebrates 50 years on the go this year.
“The funding also supports LYIT as a member of the Connacht Ulster Alliance, which continues to work towards Technological University status. Under Project Ireland 2040, major investment in new buildings for members of the Alliance are being advanced as part of the Higher Education Public Private Partnership Programme in Letterkenny and Galway, while significant upgrade and refurbishment works are targeted in Sligo and Castlebar.”
The funding under Project Ireland will be provided through the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
The €1.8m will facilitate the upgrade and modernisation of the Killybegs campus, including a new library and education facilities at the main building as well as administration offices. The investment will also improve the student experience as the campus is modernised.
The upgrade work will help support LYIT’s ambition to attract new students to courses in tourism and hospitality at the Killybegs Campus and forms an essential part of the LYIT plan to double student numbers on the campus to around 400 in the coming years.
Minister McHugh added: “Improving the higher education offerings at a regional level is a key plank of Project Ireland 2040. It will help to drive increased opportunities for students to study in Donegal and to promote local and regional education in the tourism industry. These skills are vital to the tourism market which are an important driver of growth in our rural economy.
“LYIT has also been proactive in supporting a diversity of education provision including part-time, Springboard, lifelong learning and apprenticeships. I am pleased that the investment announced today will support LYIT to further develop and grow these offerings. Congratulations to everyone involved in LYIT and I look forward to seeing the success of this investment with LYIT president Paul Hannigan.”