OVER €1 million in funding was announced for Grennan College this week, a boost which will significantly improve the equine education facilities offered at the Co Kilkenny equestrian college.
The announcement was made by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris on Thursday in a visit to the Thomastown college, accompanied by Carlow-Kilkenny TD Deputy John Paul Phelan (FG). The Minister encouraged students to consider equine training as a career path, announcing what he described as ‘a little over one million euro’ for the college.
Minister Harris said: “Today is a really great day as we continue our investment in further education and training. Today we are announcing considerable investment in the Equestrian Centre in Thomastown, which will benefit all who come through the gates and build on the Centre’s success as a key provider of education for the equine industry.
“This significant capital project will enable an upgrade of the existing facility at Grennan College Equestrian Centre, replacing existing prefabricated classrooms and supporting buildings with modern structures. It will allow our education leaders develop new models of delivery and a regional service of excellence in Horsemanship and Equine skills. The Thomastown upgrade will provide fit for purpose facilities for both learners and staff.”
The Minister added: “I want to pay tribute to the advances made in the region under the leadership of Kilkenny & Carlow ETB. This investment announced today demonstrates their on-going commitment to the centre and indeed for the equestrian education sector.
“It will improve the classroom learning environment here at Grennan College and enhance spaces for Further Education and training provision in the Kilkenny Carlow region.”
Funding for this project will be provided through SOLAS to KCETB. Chief Executive of SOLAS, Andrew Brownlee, said: “Further Education and Training has a unique and special value both for learners and for our communities - and these learners and communities deserve cutting edge facilities and equipment. The continued investments in capital infrastructure being made, including today in Kilkenny, are very welcome steps that will mean our FET facilities reflect the modern, dynamic nature of FET provision in 2022.
“This is a proud day for both SOLAS and Kilkenny Carlow ETB, and most importantly, it’s an exciting day for all of the current and future learners in the FET system in the South East regions.”
Director of Further Education and Training (FET) for KCETB Martha Bolger said: “The entire staff at Grennan Equestrian Centre and at Ormonde College of Further Education, and throughout KCETB are delighted with the news that Grennan Equestrian Centre will receive a significant capital investment to create a new teaching, learning and skills development space.
“This capital injection will transform the learning experience for the students who attend Grennan Equestrian Centre every year to study for careers in the equine industry. We are ambitious in our plans for Grennan Equestrian Centre and this funding will help towards enabling those ambitions.”
KCETB Chief Executive Eileen Curtis added that the capital grant is “really important for the development of the centre in Thomastown and will greatly enhance the facilities at the centre.”