Cookstown new home of Rivers Agency

POLITICIANS have welcomed the news that the headquarters of the Rivers Agency is to be relocated from Belfast to Cookstown, announced last week by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill.

Speaking at the Balmoral Show, the Sinn Fein minister said the new offices would now be based at the Loughry Campus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise.

Politicians have welcomed the move saying it is a boost to the community and economy.

Chairman of Cookstown District Council, Tony Quinn said the ongoing work of Cookstown District Council to develop and position the district for future investment opportunities is continuing to reap dividends.

“This most recent announcement indicating a significant number of public sector jobs are being relocated to Cookstown is testament to such. I am delighted Minister O’Neill MLA selected Loughry Campus as a central base for the Rivers Agency in the area.

“This welcome news provides a very positive move forward in growing the number of public sector jobs in the District, and will serve to create synergies between the new £140 million Community Safety College at Desertcreat, Cookstown, situated nearby, where work is expected to commence later this year, creating up to 2,000 construction jobs,” he said.

He added that in these austere economic times, it is marvellous to welcome further jobs to the district.

Ulster Unionist Party Assembly Member for Mid-Ulster, Sandra Overend, has also welcomed the news.

“Cookstown is an ideal location for Rivers Agency headquarters because of its central location within Northern Ireland, situated not far from the M1 motorway and as a central point on the A29 corridor which links Newry and Armagh in the south, and Coleraine in the north. This greater ease of travel and communication will enable the Rivers Agency to carry out its tasks much more efficiently and effectively,” she said.

The MLA added that this relocation is a timely reminder of the joint forces Training College project.