Published Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Police will train alongside fire and prison service crews. (© Pacemaker)
A planning application for the college was submitted on Tuesday. Work is expected to begin at the Desertcreat site next year, and the project will create up to 2,000 construction jobs.
"I know there is huge public support for this project and I am committed to see it progress as quickly as possible," said David Ford.
"The submission of the full planning application is an important milestone in its development and brings closer the day when work can start at Desertcreat.
"Once operational, this will be a world class facility, recognised internationally as a centre of excellence for training."
The centre was approved by the Department of Finance and Personnel last year, and is jointly funded by the Departments of Justice and Health.
It is hoped the centre will be open in 2015 and Health Minister Edwin Poots said Tuesday's submission marked an important landmark for the region.
"We are moving ever closer to realising state of the art and integrated training facilities which will support our fire fighters, police officers and prison officers in continuing to deliver the best possible service to the people of Northern Ireland.
"The expectation is that the Joint Public Services College will develop best practice in training, technology, sustainability and ecology and will be recognised by peer organisations as a world class partnership training environment."
Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie also welcomed the planning application, which she said takes us one step closer to the development of the Joint Public Services College.
"The facility will be a centre of excellence for all of the Public Services training with world class facilities which in turn will help make Northern Ireland a safer and more secure place for everyone.
"We have been keeping the local community in Cookstown fully informed of developments and we will be meeting with them again over the next few months to discuss the planning application and listen to any concerns or views that they may have.
"This is a very exciting time for all of the Services involved and we are looking forward to proceeding with the construction of the new College.
Councillor Tony Quinn, Chairman of Cookstown District Council said the project will have a "huge positive impact" on the area.
"It is my hope and expectation that this major capital build project will have a huge positive impact on job creation in Cookstown and the wider Mid Ulster area, as local companies gear up to win new work from the development," he said.