Ministers have visited Ballymena to view progress on the construction of a new Northern Ireland Ambulance Service station.
The new station replaces the old station at the Braid Valley Hospital site. It will be the new North Sector Divisional Headquarters, allowing for Divisional Support, training and clinical support facilities and will provide accommodation for around 58 staff.
Up to 12 vehicles can be garaged at this new facility which will ensure weather protection and enhance the lifespan of operational vehicles.
Speaking at the site, Health Minister Simon Hamilton said: “I am delighted to see that this new ambulance station in Ballymena is near completion. The provision of modern and effective emergency services is paramount to the delivery of transformation within our health and social care services and this new station in Ballymena is representative of this and will support the highest level of patient care.”
Acknowledging the work of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Minister Hamilton added: “I pay tribute to all those working within NIAS, responding to patients’ needs and ensuring they have access to the services they require. This new landmark Ambulance Station in Ballymena, at a capital investment of £5.6million, will be operational from April 2016 and will ensure the continuation of this vital service to the people of Ballymena and surrounding areas.”
Finance Minister Mervyn Storey said: “This is a tremendous new facility which will undoubtedly serve the people of Ballymena and beyond for many years to come.
“The Health Projects team in my department’s Central Procurement Directorate has managed this significant development to an extremely high standard. It is particularly encouraging that the new station has been designed and built to be environmentally friendly and much work has gone in to minimising the carbon footprint of the new station. I congratulate everyone involved in delivering this project, which will now serve as a template for any future stations.”