‘Collapse of Desertcreat college project was almost inevitable’

Front page of Mid Ulster Mail
Front page of Mid Ulster Mail

It’s hard to quantify the impact of the collapse of the training college at Desertcreat - the promise of jobs and millions of pounds for the local economy was becoming increasingly fanciful.

Throw in the dwindling pot of cash at Stormont and many would believe that any reasonable person would cancel the building of such a grandiose complex.

I believe that it was no coincidence that on the day the draft budget was read out in Stormont, details of the Desertcreat disaster emerged. In short, it was a good day to bury bad news.

There were already enough depressing headlines, with rumours of future cuts to the public sector. Indeed by the 10.30pm BBC news bulletin, the training college was relegated to the fifth or sixth news item. Understandable to those who don’t live in Mid Ulster.

But despite the agonisingly slow and predictable death of this project, its apparent final demise, still comes a massive blow to this region - especially after the countless assurances from politicians, the staggering £12m which has already been swallowed up, and those businesses here in Mid Ulster who have been gearing up for a better future.