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Justice Committee updated on Desertcreat training college

The Assembly Committee for Justice has received an update on the development of the Northern Ireland Community Safety College at Desertcreat.
Thursday, 7 March 2013

The College, which is due to open in late 2015, will be a world leader in providing training services for the police, prison and fire and rescue services.

Members of the Committee were addressed by Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie as Chair of the Desertcreat Programme Board; Louise Warde Hunter, Department of Justice and Brendan Smyth Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

The Committee were told that five bidders had been invited to submit tenders for delivery of the project, but when received these were substantially over the available budget. As the tenders contain commercially sensitive information it was not possible to provide detailed financial information to the Committee.  

Detailed investigations have been carried out on behalf of the Desertcreat Programme Board to identify what led to the significant difference between the anticipated costs and tenders received. Specific remedial actions have been identified and agreed with the Design Team consultants.   

The Committee members were advised that work is underway to identify options to reduce costs in areas which will not compromise the functionality of the College. Following completion of this work the Outline Business Case will be updated and consideration will then be given to the appointment of a preferred bidder.

Committee members were assured they would be further apprised as the project proceeds.

Notes for editors

  1. The Northern Ireland Community Safety College has received full planning permission.
  2. The 23000sqm college will provide high quality academic facilities and specialised practical training areas, such as a police station, fire house and prison to meet the collective and individual needs of each service.
  3. Work is due to start on the College later this year, which will give a welcome boost to the economy with the creation of some 1500 – 2000 construction jobs.
  4. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office on 028 9052 6444.  Out of hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.