Northern Ireland news

Newry firm MJM plans 100 jobs at Shackleton army site

MJM Group is headquartered in Newry

A Newry fit-out firm has bought what remains of the former Shackleton British army barracks at Ballykelly, Co Derry for £1 million.

The MJM Group said it plans to create more than 100 jobs on the site.

The 620-acre site which was gifted to the Northern Ireland Executive will also be home to a new headquarters for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, while NI Water has plans for a new wetland.

MJM bought Mivan out of administration in 2014.

Its chief executive Jarlath Quinn said the site, which includes an aircraft hangar, would be used to refurbish and fit out private jets.

"Other business ventures under serious consideration by us are the creation of one of the largest solar panel plants in Europe with the development of a 60MW solar farm at a cost of £60m," he said.

"In addition MJM Group could also continue to facilitate the use of the site by film crews and would accommodate other business proposals from interested parties to help further develop the site to help achieve its full potential."

First Minister Arlene Foster said: "At a time when our manufacturing sector has had a number of disappointing announcements, this is a good day not just for Ballykelly but for the manufacturing sector of the wider north-west."

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said it represented "the start of the next chapter of the Shackleton story".

Earlier this week, Dard said it had been given the green light to develop a new three-storey headquarters on nine acres of the Shackleton site.

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