Northern Ireland

Former police station site may provide civil service regional hub

The former police station site in Glengormley
The former police station site in Glengormley

THE regeneration of the former police station site in Glengormley may provide a location for a new civil service regional hub.

A new office/workspace hub is one of the key elements of the scheme funded by the UK Levelling Up Fund, Department for Communities and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Other elements include new shop front facades on buildings; a new right turning lane into Glenwell Road; Farmley Car Park and private road redesign and improvements to include a one-way system through Farmley Road, exiting at the Glenwell Road.

An extensive public realm scheme of environmental improvements is also in the pipeline.

A report presented to a meeting of Antrim and Borough Council behind closed doors last month says of the new office/workspace hub: “The proposed internal layout had been designed to create a flexible, attractive and operationally viable workplace and had been informed by industry feedback.

"Prior to going to tender a decision would be required in relation to the second floor, either to fit out as per the other two floors or to leave as a shell finish on the basis that a civil service hub or alternative use would be located there in the near future.

"The council’s vision to create an entrepreneurial hub with modern, accessible and affordable space on offer to new start-up businesses and entrepreneurs.”

In March, Mossley Mill in Newtownabbey was named as a potential location for a new regional hub.

Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors have been discussing behind closed doors the possibility of sharing a key civic building with the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy has announced plans for a number of hubs.

The first were earmarked for Ballykelly and Downpatrick with plans for additional centres in Ballymena, Craigavon, Omagh and Antrim and Newtownabbey. Projects in Derry, Enniskillen, Newry and North Down are planned for 2023.

The department has also said that there will continue to be a "significant civil service presence" in Belfast city centre.

The finance minister explained previously: "These hubs are an exciting development in how the civil service estate operates and present a huge opportunity to make a positive impact on local economies, the environment as well as the health and well-being of our staff."