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Ministers announce start of regeneration work on Forkhill military site

Rural Development Minister, Michelle O’Neill, together with Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland, have announced the start of redevelopment work at the former military base in Forkhill.
Wednesday, 12 December 2012

New housing, workspace units, community centre, crèche and an all-weather multi sports pitch are to be developed on the site as part of a joint project.

Speaking during a visit to the south Armagh village, Minister O’Neill said: “The redevelopment of the former military site in Forkhill has been a priority for my Department for some time now, and I am delighted to see work has now commenced.

“The new housing, which has been part funded by the Department for Social Development (DSD), will attract families and breathe new life back into the village, and the new workspace units, community centre and sports facility will provide new employment opportunities as well as improved health and well being for local people.”

The Minister continued: “Strengthening the social and economic infrastructure of rural areas, this project is testament to what can be achieved when we work together. DARD, along with the Department for Social Development, and in partnership with the local community, has developed an innovative plan for this derelict site. The disused military site was for some considerable time a blot on the landscape, as well as being a tangible reminder of the conflict from which we have now emerged. I know the residents will welcome its redevelopment.”

Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland said: “I am pleased that the Northern Ireland Executive has been able to work together to deliver this project. The start of work on the housing scheme represents an important milestone on what has been a long journey in transforming a site used in the past to protect the community, into one which now will help provide good housing for this community. By facilitating the master-planning of the site, we now have the blueprint which will allow DARD and other partners to progress the next phase of the development.”

The Ministers concluded by praising the Fold Housing Association and the contractors, O’Hare and McGovern, for the excellent progress on the new housing which will be complete by next summer. Minister O’Neill also revealed that DARD is now working with the Forkhill and District Development Association (FADDA) to develop plans for the regeneration of the remaining six acres on the site.

Notes to editors:

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