Justice Minister David Ford has said he wants to see the new training college for the police, prison and fire officer services progress as quickly as possible.
Welcoming the submission of the full planning application for the £140million state of the art training college the Minister said it would be a world leader in its field.
The delivery of the Joint Public Services College is a Department of Justice commitment in the Programme for Government.
With work expected to start at the college next year and a completion date of 2015, the project will create up to 2,000 construction jobs.
David Ford said: “This new college at Desertcreat is a significant investment by my Department and the Executive in the public services we all rely on to keep us safe.“I know there is huge public support for this project and I am committed to see it progress as quickly as possible. The submission of the full planning application is an important milestone in its development and brings closer the day when work can start at Desertcreat.“Once operational, this will be a world class facility, recognised internationally as a centre of excellence for training.”
Minister Edwin Poots added: "This is an important landmark; we are moving ever closer to realising state of the art and integrated training facilities which will support our fire fighters, police officers and prison officers in continuing to deliver the best possible service to the people of Northern Ireland. "The expectation is that the Joint Public Services College will develop best practice in training, technology, sustainability and ecology and will be recognised by peer organisations as a world class partnership training environment."
Chair of the Programme Board, Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie said: “I very much welcome today’s planning application which takes us one step closer to the development of the Joint Public Services College.
“The facility will be a centre of excellence for all of the Public Services training with world class facilities which in turn will help make Northern Ireland a safer and more secure place for everyone.
“We have been keeping the local community in Cookstown fully informed of developments and we will be meeting with them again over the next few months to discuss the planning application and listen to any concerns or views that they may have.
“This is a very exciting time for all of the Services involved and we are looking forward to proceeding with the construction of the new College.
“It is anticipated that the new facility will create approximately 1,500 – 2,000 construction jobs which is a great opportunity not just for the local area but for Northern Ireland generally.”
Councillor Tony Quinn, Chairman of Cookstown District Council stated: “Council welcomes the Joint Public Services College at Desertcreat progressing to planning application stage. Reaching this important milestone takes us another step closer to work commencing on the ground next year. It is my hope and expectation that this major capital build project will have a huge positive impact on job creation in Cookstown and the wider Mid Ulster area, as local companies gear up to win new work from the development.”Notes to editors
1. The planning application and a full set of plans are available to view at
Local Area Planning Office
Online at http://www.planningni.gov.uk
2. The Environmental Statement and Appendices are available to view at Cookstown Library, Burn road, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, BT80 8DJ.
3. It is anticipated that work will commence on the green field site in 2013, with the college opening two years later.
4. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.