New Ballymena PSNI station 'at early concept stage'

A new PSNI station proposed for Ballymena remains on the cards despite the police service facing a funding shortfall of more than £100m.
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It is part of an overall £160m regeneration for the former St Patrick’s Barracks site in the town.

The former barracks was closed by the Ministry of Defence in 2007 then transferred to the Northern Ireland Executive. It is now owned by the Department for Communities (DfC) which is leading on the housing-led regeneration programme along with other interested public bodies.

Development proposals include a plan for a new PSNI station on the south east of the site to replace the current premises at Galgorm Road.

Ballymena PSNI Station. Pic: Google MapsBallymena PSNI Station. Pic: Google Maps
Ballymena PSNI Station. Pic: Google Maps

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Policing Board said: “The Board have been advised that the PSNI are actively reviewing police station accommodation in the Ballymena area and have identified a potential opportunity for a replacement facility on the St. Patrick’s Barracks redevelopment site.

“This opportunity is at a very early concept stage and no definitive plans have been progressed at present.”

DfC anticipates the new station will be delivered “in line with the wider PSNI transformation and modernisation plans” and will be “similar to other public buildings on the site”.

Policing Board

In December 2016, a new station in the town was proposed by the Policing Board.

The 2016 Estate Strategy details progression towards a ‘fit for purpose’ estate for the next 35–50 years including planned investment at the St Patrick’s Barracks site, subject to available funding.

Anne Connolly, then Policing Board chair, said at the time: “As the legal owner of the Police Estate, the board has carefully examined the plan prior to approval and welcomes the capital investment in new stations planned for Armagh, Cookstown and Ballymena, the redevelopment of facilities at the Police College in Garnerville and a new custody provision in Craigavon and Waterside.

“Whilst policing is not about bricks and mortar, an effective police service must have the necessary range of buildings to support its work. Part of our role is to ensure that the PSNI operate efficiently so we need to be satisfied that the plans for the current estate and future investment in it meet policing need and demand.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter