29/11/2013

New Government Services Centre For Strabane

A new government office offering benefits, skills and farming support services is to be created in Strabane.

The new office, which will be constructed on the site of the current Social Security Office on Urney Road, will be the new venue for a Jobs and Benefits office, as well as a new DARD Direct Office.

Subject to planning permission and procurement, work on the project is expected to begin on site in autumn 2014, with completion expected by spring 2016.

Making the announcement, Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said: "I'm delighted that we have been able to work with our colleagues across government to deliver a joined up service for the people of Strabane.

"This will be a new, modern building providing a modern end to end customer service, helping to tackle barriers to employment and contributing to addressing poverty and social deprivation in this area.

"Also, those working in these offices will enjoy new, modern surroundings and all the benefits that brings. The wider impact will of course be a welcome boost to the construction industry in terms of the actual building work.

"My department has done quite a bit of regeneration work in the Strabane area and this will be another step in its transformation. I look forward to visiting the site as work progresses and meeting the staff and customers who will be better served as a result."

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry added: "I welcome the construction of a new Jobs and Benefits Office in Strabane. A purpose-built facility which will offer a bespoke, work-focused service for the people of Strabane and surrounding areas is a very positive development."

As the new office is being built on the site of the existing Social Security Office, temporary accommodation is now being considered.

(JP/CD)

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