Belfast Telegraph

David Ford ducks assurances on future of Desertcreat

By Noel McAdam

Justice Minister David Ford has given the strongest hint yet that the location of a troubled emergency services training college may have to be re-examined.

The Community Safety Training College is currently planned for Desertcreat near Cookstown.

However, it is massively over budget and questions have been raised about its future.

Yesterday in the Assembly, Mr Ford stopped short of giving a full commitment to the Desertcreat site. Quizzed by Sinn Fein's Bronwyn McGahan, Mr Ford said he remained committed to the Executive's Programme for Government commitment to the college.

He went on: "In current terms it is not possible to say that is a commitment to the Desertcreat site."

The current problems surrounding the project "may lead to that having to be re-examined," he added.

He also denied Sunday newspaper reports that another location is already the most favoured site.

Announced in 2004, the training college for the police, fire and prison service was due to be finished in 2008.

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