Quick sale planned for former Shackleton Army barracks

The site of the former Shackleton Army barracks
The site of the former Shackleton Army barracks

The former Shackleton Army barracks is to be quickly disposed of without a formal business case, the First and Deputy First Ministers have decided.

The move is intended to swiftly end an eight-year saga surrounding the north coast site.

The entrance to the former Shackleton Army barracks at Ballykelly

The entrance to the former Shackleton Army barracks at Ballykelly

The Army left the 720-acre Ballykelly base in 2008. Three years later it was given for free to the Executive by the Ministry of Defence.

An Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) spokesman said: “The entire Shackleton site is one of massive potential and the First Minister and Deputy First Minister are determined to maximise the benefits it can deliver not just to Ballykelly but for the wider north west.

“The First Minister and Deputy First Minister decided not to follow the formal business case process in relation to the disposal costs as they wished to bring Shackleton to market as soon as possible to benefit the local economy.

“This decision was approved by the Executive in accordance with the Ministerial Code.

“The costs that will be incurred in disposal, including legal fees and fees for the selling agents, were procured using an existing Northern Ireland Civil Service contract.”

Shackleton was an airfield during the Second World War and remained an RAF station until 1971 when it was handed over to the Army.

The total site area extends to approximately 716 acres, but with a lot being sold to Northern Ireland Water and a second lot to be sold to DARD, approximately 621.5 acres is for sale.

It includes a range of buildings comprising offices, accommodation blocks, workshop/storage buildings, and a number of hangars.

The largest building, a former aircraft hangar, extends to approximately 117,920 sq ft (10,955 sq m).