The Programme Team behind the stalled Northern Ireland Community Safety College at Desertcreat have said the project is “moving forward”.
In response to a query from the Mid Ulster Mail about the latest delays to the project which was thrown into chaos earlier this year after the preferred bidder failed to “deliver an affordable and compliant bid”, the programme team say a “significant amount of work” has been done to move the project forward.
“The ongoing procurement process includes the option to seek tenders from the five shortlisted companies on a price only basis, a predetermined option available where the preferred bidder process is not successfully concluded. Under the direction of the NICSC Programme Board, the Programme Team has been carrying out a comprehensive stock take of the current situation and will deliver a series of recommendations to inform the next stage of the project,” a spokesperson said.
The statement continued: “All cost, design and building details are being interrogated and in addition, the education, learning practices and requirements are being reviewed, to ensure that all information relating to the development and building of the new college is as accurate and up to date as possible, before we move ahead.
“In the interim, the Programme Team has also engaged a local land agent to manage the renting of part of the NICSC site for agricultural use for a limited period.”
UUP MLA Sandra Overend recently questioned Justice Minister David Ford following the latest delays in the project.
Mrs Overend said: “The people of Mid-Ulster continue to have questions about the Northern Ireland Community Safety College project, and these were added to recently when the land earmarked for construction was advertised for rent in the local papers.
“I was however disappointed by the Minister’s response, which was no more specific than to say that ‘work is ongoing’.”