Belfast Telegraph

Further delays for £157 million police training college

By David Young

The timetable for building the long-delayed £157 million training college for the police, fire and prison services has slipped again, the Assembly has been told.

After years of hold-ups, construction work on the planned state-of-the-art facility in Desertcreat near Cookstown, Co Tyrone, had been due to begin in the spring, but Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness told fellow Assembly members that June was now the anticipated start-date.

First announced in 2004, the troubled project was originally predicted to be finished by 2008 for a cost of around £80 million.

Costs have spiralled and the most recent timetable hold-ups were caused by tender bids to build the college coming in well over budget.

The £157 million bill now estimated is around £18 million higher than the cost envisaged two years ago.

Last month a consortium including local company Gilbert Ash and Spanish construction firm FCC (Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas) was chosen as the preferred bidder to construct the college.

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