Other NW site almost won DARD HQ
ANOTHER site in the North West lost out as the location of the new Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) headquarters merely because of the availability of the disused Shackleton Barracks in Ballykelly, it has been revealed.
DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill said two sites in the North West including Ballykelly were considered because of high unemployment and deprivation, low earnings and the level of civil service jobs already located in the area. Londonderry and Strabane were both on the long list of potential sites.
Mrs O’Neill stated: “In relation to the decision to relocate to Ballykelly, there were a number of steps taken before reaching my final decision. The first stage in the process was to develop a long list of potential locations.
“The list was taken from the new Regional Development Strategy. Using the 23 local government districts my officials scored each against a defined set of criteria. “This included 9 different socio-economic factors considering such things as unemployment levels, deprivation and earnings levels, as well as practical considerations such as the number of public sector and civil service jobs
already sited in the area.
“The top two areas in this analysis were both in the North West. I made my decision to relocate to Ballykelly based on two further factors namely the availability of the Executive- owned site at Shackleton Barracks and the availability of buildings on that site which could potentially be converted to office accommodation.
“Using this site and the buildings available has the potential to reduce the cost of this relocation from the £26m that is the estimated cost of a new build.”
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Weather for Londonderry
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: East