Plans for new Rivers Agency building at Loughry College in Cookstown

Loughry College campus just outside Cookstown
Loughry College campus just outside Cookstown

In the same week that the stalled community safety college proposed for Desertcreat was dealt a fresh blow, plans have been announced for a new purpose built facility at Loughry College.

The plans for the building which were put out to public consultation last week, are to house 85 Rivers Agency staff who are being relocated to Cookstown from Belfast.

Although the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) are remaining tight lipped as to what the new building will cost, estimations suggest that a building of its size could run into millions.

Earlier this week, PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton said that the viability of the proposed £157 million state-of-the-art police training college will need to be reviewed in light of the budget pressures facing the PSNI.

The planned new build has already been dogged with years of delay and setbacks. When first announced the building was originally envisaged to be opened by 2008 but construction now seems as remote as ever.

Mr Hamilton said: “We have some work being done up just around what future running costs and so on will be and looking at affordability,” he explained.

“This (the college) is in the (Executive’s) Programme for Government, the Police Service of Northern Ireland is committed to it, but we can’t pretend we don’t have the financial crisis we have.

“So we will simply do the work, make an assessment and present that to the Executive because it is in the Programme for Government.”