Connecting local suppliers to opportunities in the construction sector

13th June 2013

National Development Finance Agency partners with Enterprise Ireland for Construction sector awareness event series on the Devolved Schools Programme

Almost 200 people today (Thursday 13 June 2013) attended an information and networking session aimed at connecting local suppliers to opportunities in the construction sector under the Devolved Schools Programme. The event, hosted by the NDFA in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, provided a platform for local construction suppliers and enterprises to learn more about the schools building programme in the Leinster region and to meet with the five contractors who have been appointed to the Design & Build framework panel on the Devolved Schools Programme. A second event is planned for the Munster region for August 2013 to cover the schools building programme in that region.

The NDFA Devolved Schools Programme consists of 17 schools sites in Leinster, Munster & Connacht with a mix of new builds, extensions and some remedial works to existing schools both at a primary and post primary level.

The five Design & Build contractors that were appointed to the panel include Sammon Group, JJ Rhatigan & Co and Western Building Systems. Two joint ventures are also on the panel - ABM /Clancy Construction & Stewart/Tracey Brothers.

The NDFA is acting on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills (DoES) to deliver on part of its €2 billion major school building programme over the next five years. This programme is historic for the State due to its size and scale with over 100,000 permanent school places to be delivered. This Five Year Plan of investment will create an estimated 15,000 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs over the period of the programme (an annual average of 3,000 direct and 600 indirect jobs). Within the frameworks of this overall programme, the NDFA Devolved Scheme will deliver almost 10,000 new and refurbished school places across 17 school sites. This is a welcome boost not only to the construction industry but to the communities where building will take place.

At the event, Brian Murphy, Chief Executive of the NDFA, welcomed the opportunity to work with Enterprise Ireland and other bodies in hosting the networking and information session. ‘Events like this are very important in providing the SME and construction sector with access to future business opportunities. The NDFA and Enterprise Ireland plan to hold further information and networking events as other projects are rolled out later this year as part of the Government’s PPP Stimulus Package’.

Leo McAdams, Manager of Enterprise Ireland’s Public Procurement Department, said: ‘The schools building programme provides a tremendous opportunity for enterprises in the construction sector. Enterprise Ireland’s public procurement team is working with both the public sector and Irish SMEs on key procurement opportunities particularly within the national investment programme. The aim is to increase the number of Irish SMEs who win projects with the Irish Public Sector, leading to employment and providing reference sites for companies focussing on export markets’.

For more information on how to register for the first information and networking event please visit

For more information on NDFA Devolved Schools Programme:


For Further Information please contact the Press Office

Ray Gordon (087 241 7373) or David Clerkin (087 830 1779) at Gordon MRM

Pictures will be available from Gary O’Neill Photography ( ) or Enterprise Ireland Press Office.


Notes to the Editor

About National Development Finance Agency:

The National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) was established on 1 January 2003. One of its principal functions is to advise State Authorities on the optimal financing of priority public investment projects by applying commercial standards in evaluating financial risks and costs. The NDFA's overriding objective is to maximise value for money for the Exchequer.

The NDFA's role includes advising on the financial aspects and risk evaluation of Ireland's public-private partnership procurement projects such as road, rail and broadband infrastructure and raising or arranging finance for National Development Plan projects. It works closely with State Authorities undertaking infrastructure projects by providing advice on the financial component of invitations to tender and assessing such tenders from a financial perspective.

In July 2005, the role and functions of the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) were expanded to include a specialised procurement delivery function. NDFA established a Centre of Expertise for the specialist procurement of PPP projects; primarily for projects from the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Education and Skills, and the Department of Health and Children.

The mandate of the NDFA has recently been expanded to deliver these exchequer funded projects on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.

The NDFA Centre of Expertise is responsible for all aspects of delivering the procurement of the projects (with appropriate input from the Sponsoring Departments) and will hand them over to Departments after construction is complete and the asset is operational.

About Enterprise Ireland:

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish Government agency charged with developing and promoting Irish enterprise. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness. The ultimate objective is increased exports, employment and prosperity in Ireland.