JOBS and traffic issues were the main source of public concern at an information evening on the new Joint Services Training College at Desertcreat near Cookstown.

Almost 300 people attended the Glenavon meeting and most appeared impressed by the presentation on the design and timescales for the development of the new £139m facility which is due to open in 2015.

Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie, chair of the Programme Board said there were times when she didn’t think the new facility would happen but praised the ‘unrelenting optimism’ of Cookstown District Council.

She said with the floods this week it proved how important it was for all the emergency services to work and train together.

Some members of the audience voiced concerns about the high volume of traffic the new college would generate from the A29 but were assured that Roads Service was closely involved in the project.

Others wanted to know if local businesses would get their ‘fair share’ of trade and jobs. Programme Director Colin McCrossan said there was social clauses in the Desertcreat plan and the project would be following European guidelines.

One person was concerned about the environmental impact and wanted to know if materials would be sourced locally to avoid a high carbon footprint.

More information about the project can be found on