Army barrack proceeds may have been ‘lost to taxpayer’

A PUBLIC Accounts Committee report has expressed concern that the OFMDFM could not make use of the £870,000 achieved from the sale of the former Magherafelt RIR site to the North Eastern Education and Library Board (NEELB)

And it was alarmed that the Department is unable to definitively state that the £870,000 has not been lost to the Northern Ireland taxpayer.

MLA Joe Byrne added: “The committee is encouraged by the new strategic oversight arrangements that have been put in place by the Department which should improve communications between the various departments and public bodies responsible for taking forward the regeneration of the sites.

“However, it is important that the substantial investment to transform these former military and security sites results in them becoming a long-term asset for local communities.

“Continued participation from these communities and their representatives is an essential element of this.”

The six former military and security sites transferred to the Office of the First Minster/Deputy First Minister were: Malone Road; Magherafelt; the former army base and prison at Maze/Long Kesh; Ebrington; and Crumlin Road Gaol.