West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals


Published: 12 November, 2014

Minister O Neill officially opens the £2m Rivers Agency Western Regional office in Omagh

Minister O Neill officially opens the £2m Rivers Agency Western Regional office in Omagh

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill has officially opened Rivers Agency's new Western Regional office in Omagh, Co.Tyrone.

The new building at St Julian's Road, which will accommodate up to 40 staff, represents a £2million investment in the Omagh area, bringing together Rivers Agency's various disciplines into a single multi-disciplined site.

Speaking after viewing the new facilities and meeting with staff, Minister O'Neill said: "The opening of this new state of the art office will enable Rivers Agency to provide a more efficient service to the communities west of the Bann and provides a modern working environment for the staff based here.

"It represents a £2million investment and supports DARD's strategic goal and my commitment to developing rural communities by strengthening the social and economic infrastructures of rural areas, particularly west of the Bann.

"As part of my wider relocation project to decentralise DARD jobs from Belfast, the Rivers Agency headquarters will relocate to Loughry Campus in 2016, which will see approx 80 posts relocated to a rural area. It is about a fairer distribution of public sector jobs and stimulating that local economy and making sure we create employment in rural areas and opportunities for those in the public service."

West Tyrone MLA and DARD Committee member, Declan Mc Aleer also attended the official opening 'The former facilities on Woodside Avenue were not fit for purpose. Most of the buildings were constructed in the 1960s; they were cramped and separated by a work yard through which cars and heavy machinery passed. In stark contrast, this is a modern and spacious building designed to meet needs of staff and the operational requirements of Rivers Agency in the West.

'I am particularly happy that this investment secures jobs in the area and removes the pressure on these workers to commute long distances to other parts of the country for employment opportunities'.