Many of your readers will have noted reports that the £130 million Police Training College project in Cookestown has been put on hold after the Preferred Bidder pulled out, as it was reported that they could not deliver the project for less than £200 million.
We also received notice last month the Ministry that the Defence intends the huge local army base in Ballykinler be vacated, with the The Rifles moving to Lisburn.
This army base is on a huge campus and has a huge array of training facilities and modern accommodation suitable for even families and employs many local people.
It would appear that spending just a few 10’s of millions of pounds improving Ballkiner base would deliver the Police Training College in a fraction of the the time it would take to deliver the police training college at Cookstown.
I was pleased that Council adopted my proposal at Monday nights meeting, and is approaching the Office of First and Deputy First Minister to request locating the Police College in our area.
It is to be hoped that the prospect of having more than a £100,000,000 in savings from moving the Police College to Down District will influence the ‘powers that be’ in Stormont to see things our way, and to preserve and deliver a raft of jobs and investment into this district at the same time.