Cookstown training college delays branded ‘economic suicide’

How the new police and fire training college will look once complete
How the new police and fire training college will look once complete

One of the Cookstown businesses hopeful of securing a contract to supply the new training college at Desertcreat is the Tyre Safety Centre.

There is speculation that the Cookstown company is one of the firms in pole position of gaining work which will lead to job creation.

Director Mark Simpson, said he was extremely happy with how the ‘Meet the Buyer’ sessions went and is quietly confident of gaining some work from the proposed training college.

“Having met with high ranked officials involved in the project, the mood was full of optimism and the chat was of the ‘next stage’, he said.

Mr Simpson also raised concerns about the potential delays in the project and added that this is causing ‘economic suicide.’

It’s understood the NI Community Safety College Programme Board is awaiting written clarification from the Preferred Bidder consortium regarding the ongoing delivery.

“The effect this would have on our local area would be detrimental,” he added.

The director of the firm which employs 16 people, said with the machinery needing wheels etc, the Tyre Safety Centre would be a forerunner.

“The fact that the Tyre Safety Centre is less than three miles from the site enables them to have a response time to satisfy the contractors’ needs,” he added.

He said the project is a necessity for the local economy.

“Even more positive will be the legacy that will be left behind when all work has been completed. It will continue to drive money into our community. Fingers crossed, together as a community, we will prosper. Let’s make Cookstown the front runner for a positive Northern Ireland,” added Mr Simpson.

Adrian McCreesh, Chief Executive of Cookstown District Council said like other councils, it has become aware of the potential for delay in the delivery of the project.

“Like everyone, Council is frustrated at what seems to be yet another delay and is in continuous communication with the Programme Management Board to ensure this opportunity is not lost to Mid-Ulster,” he added.