Government confirms talks with businesses interested in Ebrington

Works ongoing at the Ebrington site.
Works ongoing at the Ebrington site.

The government has confirmed that it is in talks with a number of local businesses interested in locating on to the Ebrington site.

The Northern Ireland Executive Office told the Journal that the interest shown in the 26-acre Waterside side has been “encouraging”.

Works to one of the buildings on the Ebrington site.

Works to one of the buildings on the Ebrington site.

Extensive construction work is currently under way at a number of key buildings at the former army base.

In January this year, the then Environment Minister Mark H Durkan granted planning permission for the regeneration of the massive site.

The proposal set out a blueprint for the 10.5 hectare site and provided for 83,000 square metres of gross floor space.

A spokesperson for The Executive Office told the Journal this week: “We are committed to developing Ebrington for the benefit of everyone in the North West and are working closely with the local community and the private sector to increase investment on the site.

“Following a very encouraging market testing of the site undertaken earlier this year discussions are ongoing with a number of businesses interested in buildings and land on the site. These discussions are commercial in confidence at this stage but a formal announcement will be made in due course.

“Other capital works are being taken forward including repair and enabling works to various buildings, the development of a new site access road onto Limavady Road and various projects which are upgrading site infrastructure.

“The Ebrington Site will move to Derry City and Strabane District Council in 2017 and Executive Office officials are working closely with the council to map out this transfer and will provide an update to council members in November.

“Having the site in local hands will deliver maximum economic and social benefits for the North West and beyond and ensure the local community continues to have input into the development of the site.”

A former military barracks dating back centuries, the Ebrington site is one of significant historic importance containing a number of listed buildings.

Since its transfer to the NI Executive, regeneration works have included: development of Cunningham Square and Ebrington Square- one of the largest public event spaces in Ireland; the construction of the Peace Bridge and the refurbishment and creation of a number of buildings and areas used for concerts and other functions.