Strabane denied 800 Department of Agriculture jobs

A leaked memo has revealed that Strabane topped a table of suitable locations for 800 Civil Service jobs, but still lost out to Ballykelly.

A document shows that 23 areas were shortlisted as potential locations for the Department of Agriculture headquarters.

Officials then used nine points of critieria, including availability of jobs, employment deprivation, earnings and population trends, to draw up a ranked list. Strabane came out ahead of all other areas.

In September it was announced that the North's Department of Agriculture would move from Belfast to Ballykelly with the new offices being based at the site of the former Shackleton Army barracks.

At the time West Tyrone MLA Joe Byrne questioned the decision, and he's now looking for it to be overturned....