On the 3rd September 2012 the Minister announced her intention to relocate the Headquarters of the Department to the former military site, Shackleton Barracks in Ballykelly. Minister had previously announced (17th May 2012) her intention to relocate the Headquarters of the Forestry Service to Fermanagh and has since (16thMay 2013) announced her intention to relocate the Headquarters of the Rivers Agency from Hydebank to Loughry and the Headquarters of the Fisheries Division to South Down.
The Executive, in its Programme for Government, has a commitment to ‘advance the relocation of the headquarters of DARD to a rural location’. This commitment stems from work carried out by Sir George Bain into the distribution of public sector jobs in Northern Ireland. In his report, Bain concluded that DARD, because of its role in rural development, was a Department which would be suited to relocating out of the administrative centre to a rural area.
The Relocations Programme will help to share wealth across the economy and contribute to better-balanced economic growth, by commencing to address disparities in the distribution of public sector posts, both senior and junior, in the north of Ireland.
For further information please contact HQRelocation@daera-ni.gov.uk.
The HQ Relocations Programme is concerned with 4 different relocations to 4 different rural areas.
On 08th June 2015, DARD Fisheries Division relocated to the Downshire Civic Centre in Downpatrick.
On the 28th September 2015 the headquarters of Forest Service relocated to the newly re-furbished Inishkeen House.
Work is well underway on the construction of a new headquarters for Rivers Agency at the CAFRE Loughry Campus in Cookstown. The contract for the construction of the 85-workstation building was awarded to QMAC Construction on 27 July 2015. The expected completion date for this project is October 2016. You can see the proposed new building below. The responsibility for the relocation of the headquarters of Rivers Agency has transferred to the new Department for Infrastructure (DfI).
Rivers Agency flythrough
Remainder of the DARD Headquarters to Ballykelly
The target date for Phase 1 remains the end of 2017. The Full Business Case for the relocation of the departmental headquarters to Ballykelly was approved on 24th February 2016. The planning application for the design of the new building and access road was also approved by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council on 24th February 2016. The contract has been formally awarded to JH Turkington & Co Ltd.