Seven proposals received for Shackleton site in Ballykelly

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. ''Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. ''Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

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Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has revealed seven proposals have been received for the ex-army site, Shackleton in Ballykelly.

The former military barracks was gifted to the Executive on October 7, 2011 under the Hillsborough Agreement of 2010.

Ariel view of the Shackleton site Photo: Andy Cameron

Ariel view of the Shackleton site Photo: Andy Cameron

The total Shackleton site area extends to approximately 716 acres.

The Department of Agriculture’s headquarters are to be re-located to the Shackleton site. Approximately 700 DARD posts are due to be relocated to the new site over the next five years.

Currently, a film and telvision production company - Shackleton Studios - has been granted a licence for part of the site.

Speaking during Question Time in the Assembly on Monday, Mr McGuinness confirmed seven proposals were received for the Shackleton site as part of the open competitive sale process which closed on the 2nd October.

“Whilst the real measure of success will be how the purchaser of the site delivers employment, community and environmental benefits, receiving this number of proposals is a welcome development,” said Mr McGuinness.

“The sheer size of the site for sale is approximately 621.5 acres so anyone who has submitted a proposal to purchase and develop a site of this size, has demonstrated a genuine commitment to making a significant economic impact in the North West.”

The Deputy First Minister said “for commercial reasons it would not be appropriate to discuss the detail of the proposals received until the assessment process has concluded”.

“We will now undertake a detailed assessment of these proposals against the set criteria and look forward to this process being completed in early 2016,” said Mr McGuinness.