Belfast Telegraph

Desertcreat: Police, fire and prison service training college 'should not proceed'

A proposed £157 million state-of-the-art police, fire and prison service training college should not proceed in the current constrained financial climate, the group behind the project has said.

The assessment of the steering group, which is made up of Stormont officials and representatives of the emergency services, comes after it undertook a review of the envisaged development in Desertcreat, Co Tyrone.

The Stormont Executive will make any final decision on the fate of the troubled Northern Ireland Community Safety College (NICSC) project.

The planned new build has already been beset with years of delay and setbacks. First proposed in 2004, it was originally envisaged to be opened by 2008 but construction has still not started.

A procurement exercise stalled earlier this year when concerns were raised over whether the project could be delivered within budget.

A spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said: "Following a detailed review carried out by the NICSC Programme Board the steering group has concluded that it would not be prudent at this stage to press ahead with the current project.

"The steering group has however asked for reviews to be carried out to determine what the present position means for the procurement process and secondly to review the training requirements for the three services taking account of the current budgetary climate.

"As development of the college is a commitment in the Programme for Government, any decision on its future will be taken by the Executive."

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