Police training college in Cookstown may not be built until 2015

An artists impression of the college.
An artists impression of the college.

Construction of the police and fire training college at Desertcreat is unlikely to start until 2015, the Mid Ulster Mail can reveal.

In a statement, The Northern Ireland Community Safety College Programme Board said they had “discontinued the current stage of the preferred bidder process to build the new College by FGP Consortium, which comprises FCC Construction and local company Gilbert Ash.”

The statement added: “Following extensive engagement with FGP Consortium, we have discontinued the current stage of the process, as FGP has unfortunately been unable to demonstrate that they can offer an affordable and compliant bid.

“While this setback is very disappointing news, the Programme Board remains committed to the development of the Northern Ireland Community Safety College at Desertcreat to provide integrated training for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service and the Northern Ireland Prison Service.

“The Programme Board has immediately begun a stocktake of the current situation and is actively exploring a number of options.”

Mid Ulster MLA Ian McCrea explained the ramifications.

“The board which is managing the training college project, will now have to carry out a re-specification of the entire sheme.

“After this, the five original companies who tendered, will be asked to resubmit tenders, so it is unlikely that we will see work start for some time. But the commitment is still there to deliver this college.”