Demolition work clears way for new Rivers Agency HQ

An artist's impression of the new Rivers Agency headquarters at Cookstown.
An artist's impression of the new Rivers Agency headquarters at Cookstown.

Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has visited the site for the new Rivers Agency headquarters and helped start demolition work to the existing derelict building.

Once the site is cleared, work will soon begin to build the new modern two-storey building at the Loughry Campus in Cookstown. The Minister took the time to view plans of the building as well as images of how it will look when completed.

Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill oversees the first stages of preparation work for the new Rivers Agency headquarters at Loughry Campus, Cookstown.

Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill oversees the first stages of preparation work for the new Rivers Agency headquarters at Loughry Campus, Cookstown.

Minister O’Neill explained: “This is another key step in our relocation programme and will position the Rivers Agency at the centre of the north, ensuring it has strong links with the rural community and offering well paid local civil service jobs for people in the wider Cookstown area.

“Work will now begin to demolish the derelict single-storey building which is currently on the site and we are confident construction work will start in a couple of weeks. The new building will provide a modern, spacious and attractive work environment with 85 workstations.”

The Minister went on to add: “It is in an ideal location with good access to the motorways and key routes and will, with the wider DARD relocations scheme, go some way towards addressing the redistribution of public sector jobs across the north. I am confident the local people will also see and feel the benefits these jobs will bring to their economy and community.”

Work on the new headquarters is expected to be completed be autumn 2016.

Plans are also well under way to move the Department’s headquarters to Ballykelly, while the Department’s Fisheries Division has moved to Downpatrick and the Forest Service headquarters are now open for business in Enniskillen.