Major interest in Police College tendering bid

A QUESTIONAIRE to test if a firm is eligibile to tender for the massive £149m Desertcreat College at Cookstown was downloaded more than 20 times within 24 hours of being made public.

Such is the interest, the project management have issued a Pre-qualification Questionaire (PQQ) to assess how eligible a contractor is to take on the mammoth building.

This is the start of the competitive process for the procurement of services to build the new college.

The PQQ became available for downloading on the eSourcing NI website run by the Department of Finance and personnel’s Central Procurement Directorate.

“Early indications are that interest is high with the PQQ pack being downloaded more than 20 times during the first 24 hours of publication,” said a statement on the Desertcreat College website.

The notice was made public at the same time on the website of the Official Journal of the European Union.

The Desertcreat College Programme Team hopes to progress with six prequalified Economic Operators to the tender stage in summer 2012. And construction is planned to start on the Desertcreat site in early 2013.

“This is a major milestone for the Desertcreat College Programme and underscores the commitment of Police, Fire and Prison Service to make the new college a reality,” said the statement.

The multi-million pound college is to be a state of the art facility to train police, prison staff and the fire service.

Last week the project’s design team visited Belfast with the architects responsible for the design of the mock prison facilities, and Desertcreat team members also visited HMP Maghaberry near Lisburn.

“The aim of this visit was to make sure that the look and feel of the mock prison facility in the Desertcreat Joint Public Services College will be as realistic as possible.

“It is planned that the whole prison environment will be replicated as closely as possible in the new training facility with students using the same systems to conduct their training activities as those used in operational prisons to perform their daily duties,” according to the website.

The notice can be viewed by going to