Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has confirmed that planning permission has been granted for the construction of a new building on the Loughry Campus near Cookstown, which is to be the new headquarters for Rivers Agency.
The minister said: “I welcome Cookstown District Council’s decision to approve the planning application for the new Rivers Agency Headquarters at their meeting on 10 December 2014.
“This is a significant development in the Rivers Agency relocation project, which is part of a wider programme to move DARD jobs into rural areas. As I have said before, my Department is leading the way on addressing the redistribution of public sector jobs across the north, which will help share the wealth across the economy and contribute to better balanced economic growth. The benefits for the local community are clear to be seen, particularly around construction and the increased footfall for the area.”
The next stage of the project will see the completion of a Design Brief for the new building, with construction due to commence in May 2015.
Plans are also well under way to move the Department’s headquarters to Ballykelly, the Department’s Fisheries Division to Downpatrick and the Forest Service headquarters to Enniskillen.