Dozens of enquiries into ex-army base at Ballykelly

More than 60 enquiries from potential investors have been made about the former army base in Ballykelly in the last 12 months, it has been revealed.

The information was made public by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) in response to an Assembly question from East Derry SDLP MLA John Dallat.

OFMDFM acquired the former Shackleton Barracks in October 2011 and say maintenance costs from that date to the end of the last financial year were £310,756.

To date, costs for decontaminating the former army base are in the region of £5.9m to £8.1m, according to the OFMDFM.

MLA Dallat said the answer from the OFMDFM “clearly indicates there is considerable interest in Shackleton but, sadly missing, is any kind of leadership from OFMDFM on how to bring this project forward to transform those expressions of interest in tangible project”.

Mr. Dallat said his fear is the site will end up “a wilderness” without the development of a masterplan to detail what its best potential use is”.

Plans are, however, underway to relocate DARD headquarters to Ballykelly and some 800 jobs to the North West site.