THE sale of the old Fairview campus of the South West College in Enniskillen has been agreed upon.
Sources have told the Herald that a deal is being finalised and it is believed to be the well-respected Byrne family of Modern Tyres – Ireland’s largest independent tyre retailers, which was established almost 60 years ago – are the prospective buyers.
A Byrne family member refused to comment on or confirm the sale.
However, Noelle McAloon of Enniskillen BID (Business Improvement District), believed that a successful deal would bode well for the future of the county town.
“We have been involved in Fermanagh and Omagh District’s consultation for the Place Shaping Plan for Enniskillen, and a large element of that document looks at vacant and derelict sites in Enniskillen,” Ms McAloon explained.
“One of the primary ones that were discussed was the old Fairview campus site. It was viewed as a worry that it could be left sitting vacant there for a long, long time as it is a great location.
“Its sale would be hugely positive. It’s great if a local business is investing in a building of that size and potential, and that it is not left vacant like the Railway Hotel in the town.
“Whatever plans there are for it, we hope it will help the economy of Enniskillen and encourage people to come here.”
The former college site has been vacant since July 2021, and was put up for sale by leading property agents Lisney last October after the opening of the college’s new Erne campus on the Cornagrade Road.
Since its opening in September 1971, Enniskillen Technical College was known as an iconic feature, that transformed the Enniskillen skyline.
Although many of the buildings and communities surrounding it have witnessed dramatic changes, the building has been a constant focal point for the county town.
Lisney described the property as a prominent 3.4-acre site located within Enniskillen town centre, with its size presenting a unique opportunity for prospective buyers.
As well as the former college, the large site comprises several existing buildings, extending to 125,000 sq ft, including a former jail and library (both of which are Listed buildings).
The former Fairview site also benefits from good access to public transport links and is near all local amenities, schools and healthcare facilities.
“This site is located in a highly sought-after area making it an attractive proposition for various parties such as investors and developers,” Carol Viney of South West College said about the property when it was put on the market.
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