SDLP Leader and South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has welcomed that funding has been allocated for a new police station in Downpatrick.
Ms Ritchie said, “This new PSNI station will not only improve working conditions for the officers and civilian staff but it will greatly improve the public’s access to our local police service.
“This investment of £7.5 million is also welcome news for the local economy and will be a welcomed boost to the local construction industry in these difficult economic times.
“Local people will also benefit from the closure of the Irish Street police station and the removal of the blast wall, which will allow for much needed traffic improvements in Downpatrick town centre.
“I hope this will also enable the Department for Social Development to complete the environmental improvements works for this area of the town.
“I will continue to pursue the progression of this new build station and I look forward to the provision of a state of the art, fit for purpose PSNI station on the new Downshire site in Downpatrick.”
With the police station in Irish Street closing down and moving to its new site at the Downshire Estate, Irish Street should be in line for another new major renewal package as many of the frontages of the small shops and buildings are run down.
District Commander Chief Superintendent Nigel Grimshaw said, “The PSNI remain committed to building a new fit for purpose station in Downpatrick which would be of benefit to police officers and staff, as well as the entire community.
“We welcome the support of the MP for the area and other civic leadership in pursuing this goal. The current economic climate is of course challenging, and a new station is still subject to final confirmation of funding. However, it is very encouraging to note the broad support across the community, within PSNI, and the Policing Board.”