Log in | Register

DARD HQ unveiled as Civil Service decentralises

Words: Roger Milne

Northern Ireland's rural development minister Michelle O'Neill has revealed details of the proposed new headquarters for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at Ballykelly in Co Londonderry.

Plans for the scheme have been submitted to the new Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. Building work at the former Shackleton army base is expected to begin next year, with staff arriving at their new offices by the end of 2017.

The minister said: "This is a key milestone in realising the £20 million vision we see for DARD and the potential positive impact this move will have for the North West.

"I am very keen that the new headquarters is viewed as part of village life and I have ensured that the building and its facilities have the potential to be used for other purposes that will benefit the local community and surrounding area."

The minister revealed that more than 1,500 civil servants want to move to the new DARD headquarters in the North West.

The relocation of the DARD HQ from Belfast is a flagship project for the initiative to decentralise the civil service.

Work is also under way to move the department's fisheries division to Downpatrick, forest service headquarters to Enniskillen and rivers agency headquarters to Loughry in Cookstown.

Image courtesy of John Purvis