Announcement on Ballykelly ex-army site to be made soon

Jo Gilbert at the Shackleton Sudios. INLV3615-068KDR
Jo Gilbert at the Shackleton Sudios. INLV3615-068KDR

An announcement on the sale of the ex-army site in Ballykelly is to be made soon, writes Sheena Jackson.

A spokesperson for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy first Minister (OFMDFM) said they are “continuing to work through the sale process for Shackleton”.

“The Department will make a decision on the disposal of the site and make an announcement shortly,” said the spokesperson.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness revealed last October seven proposals had been received for Shackleton in Ballykelly.

OFMDFM also revealed a licence granted to Shackleton Studios to use part of the site for film production-related activities was terminated early on 30 November 2015 at the request of Shackleton Studios.

“A request for another licence was submitted by Shackleton Studios on 11 February 2016 and is currently being considered by the Department,” added the OFMDFM spokesperson.

Jo Gilbert from Shackleton Studios said: “We have a considerable amount of people from the creative industries who wish to come and fulfil all that we talked about last year in terms of production for Shackleton Studios.”

Ms Gilbert said talks about a £65 million movie, and other productions, are still in the pipeline, plus talks with international suppliers for the industry.

The former military barracks 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 relocated to the Shackleton site. Approximately 700 DARD posts are due to be relocated to the new site over the next five years.