SDLP Parliamentary Candidate for South Down, Margaret Ritchie, has welcomed news that the refurbishment of Rathkeltair House in Downpatrick will proceed.
Ms Ritchie said: “I had made further representations to the Department for Communities regarding this project and I have received news that as an indicative budget for 2017/18 has been received, the refurbishment will go ahead and it is hoped that a combined Employment and Benefit Service can be delivered from the new facility from late summer 2018.
“This will result in a modernised building and enhanced customer service facilities that will help to address barriers to employment, and contributing to addressing poverty and social deprivation.
“In addition, staff members in the new facility will be able to avail of new, modern surroundings and all of the benefits that this will bring. A wider impact will be a welcome boost to the local economy, and will mark a further step in the regeneration of Downpatrick town.
“I am very pleased that this project will proceed,” added Ms Ritchie.