Ex-army site comes off open market

Aerial shot of the Shackleton site.Photo: Andy Cameron

Aerial shot of the Shackleton site.Photo: Andy Cameron

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Shackleton Barracks in Ballykelly will be taken off the open market later today after which the NI Executive will start to assess the various proposals submitted by prospective buyers.

The former military barracks at Shackleton was gifted to the Executive on October 7, 2011 under the Hillsborough Agreement of 2010. The total Shackleton site area extends to approximately 716 acres.

The Department of Agriculture’s headquarters are to be re-located to the site. About 700 DARD posts are due to be relocated to the new site, at the former Shackleton army barracks, over the next five years.

Currently, a film and telvision production company - Shackleton Studios -has been granted a licence for part of the site. When asked about the number and nature of bids submitted, a OFMDFM spokesperson said: “Ministers are determined to ensure the sale of Shackleton will deliver massive benefits for the North West, including much needed employment opportunities.

“It would be inappropriate to provide details on the number of proposals and their origins given the commercially sensitive nature of the sale process which It is anticipated will be complete early in 2016.”

The OFMDFM spokesperson added: “In the interim, and until the sale process is complete, the Department has agreed to licence part of the site to Shackleton Studios Ltd.

“This is an open competitive process therefore any bid from Shackleton Studios would also be considered.”