Ebrington: from military HQ to Durkan HQ

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan's new HQ in Derry is located at the former military barracks site at Ebrington in the city's Waterside.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan's new HQ in Derry is located at the former military barracks site at Ebrington in the city's Waterside.

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Ebrington, first designated for military use during the Siege of Derry in 1689, is to be the new regional HQ for Environment Minister Mark H Durkan.

The Minister, along with DOE Planning Chief Fiona McCandless, has now relocated to Derry.

The new regional HQ will accommodate 25 people.

Commenting on the significance of the move, Mark H Durkan said: “I am delighted at the opening of a new regional DOE HQ in Derry. I will have a base here along with my support team and will be joined in these new offices by the Chief Planner, Mrs Fiona McCandless, her staff and DOE marine staff.

“On taking up office, I pledged to move jobs to the North West in line with the Executive’s commitment to disperse civil service jobs as much as possible. The very fact that the Chief Planner operates out of Derry sends a clear message that top jobs can be based here.

“I intend to make it my business to see what other jobs might be based here and would urge my fellow Executive Ministers to follow suit.

“I am very pleased that we will be the first tenants of the newly re-furbished Ebrington site which has tremendous potential to become an important economic, cultural and social hub for the city of Derry.

“My move here is a vote of confidence in the site’s potential. I hope this will act as a spur to investors and others so that the site can be fully developed for the benefit of the people of Derry.

“The transformation of this building is a reflection of the path Derry itself has taken - from siege and war to politics and peace.”

Responsibility for the management and re-development of Ebrington rests with Ilex, the urban regeneration company. Chief Executive Mel Higgins said: “This is great news. As tenants at Ebrington, DOE is bringing 25 jobs to the city and paving the way for future announcements about several other buildings on site. Plans are well advanced for a number of other buildings to be operational by the end of March 2015.”