‘Loughgall perfect for AFBI HQ’ - MLA

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Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman William Irwin MLA and former Stormont Agriculture Committee Chairman William Irwin has said that the AFBI site at Loughgall would be the perfect venue for the relocation of AFBI’s Newforge Lane Headquarters.

DARD and AFBI are currently deliberating on the best place to relocate their Newforge Lane Headquarters with potential venues being considered including Hillsborough.

Mr Irwin says the Loughgall site is an ideal venue given the available space, its central location and easy access to the site from the main M1 motorway.

He stated: “I am on public record many times praising the excellent work that AFBI undertake to directly assist our agriculture and horticulture sectors in Northern Ireland and indeed the research undertaken by AFBI has already proven to be of vital assistance to our farmers across the province.

“There are a number of sites currently being considered as potential locations for the new Headquarters and of course with any site there will be hurdles to overcome to facilitate the relocation.

“However I do feel that the Loughgall site meets a lot of the requirements in terms of the actual space required to accommodate a relocation and the fact the Loughgall site is within easy access of the M1 motorway is also a significant draw.”

Mr Irwin concluded: “Obviously there will be a lot of careful consideration given to the siting of the new Headquarters and as someone who lives in the area I do feel strongly that the Loughgall site would be the perfect venue.

“I would encourage officials to give the greatest consideration to the site at Loughgall and I will continue to lobby for the locating of services within the Newry & Armagh constituency.”

AFBI carries out high technology research and development, statutory, analytical, and diagnostic testing functions for DAERA and other Government departments, public bodies and commercial companies.