In May 2002, the Reinvestment and Reform Initiative was launched by the then Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and the First Minister and deputy First Minister. This groundbreaking initiative was intended to provide a new momentum for social and economic regeneration in Northern Ireland.
As part of the initiative, the Government agreed to transfer to the Executive, without charge, a number of former security sites, namely Crumlin Road Gaol, security bases at Malone Road, Belfast and Magherafelt; Ebrington Barracks in Londonderry; and the Maze Prison/Long Kesh site, near Lisburn.
In February 2010, as part of the Hillsborough Agreement a further three sites, St Lucia, Omagh, St Patricks, Ballymena,and Shackleton Barracks, Ballykelly were gifted to OFMDFM, now the Executive Office. Lisanelly Barracks was gifted, under the same agreement, directly to the Department of Education.
Former military and security sites
The Reinvestment and Reform Initiative made provision for the free transfer, to the Executive, of six strategic military and security assets:
- Ebrington Barracks in Londonderry transferred to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister back in December 2003 and is managed by The Executive Office.
- Crumlin Road Gaol transferred to OFMDFM in August 2003
- the former Malone Road Army Barracks was sold in December 2003 for £3.397million with the proceeds committed to the regeneration of the Crumlin Road Gaol
- transferred in April 2004, the former Maze Prison and the adjacent army base have combined to form the Maze Regeneration Site - more information on our Maze/Long Kesh page
- the former Royal Irish Regiment base in Magherafelt was sold to the North Eastern Education and Library Board to facilitate the relocation of the local Primary and Nursery schools and to provide other pre and after school provision
- St Lucia Barracks Omagh transferred to OFMDFM in April 2011
- St Patricks Barracks Ballymena transferred to OFMDFM in April 2011
- Lisanelly Barracks transferred to DE in April 2011
- Shackleton Barracks Ballykelly transferred to OFMDFM in October 2011
It is intended that the St Patrick’s Barracks site will be sold in 2015/16 and the Shackleton and St Lucia sites in the following year.