The impressive £1.45 million project will feature a three story building including changing facilities, community and recreational space and office facilities.
The project is being led by Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Leafair Community Association with supporting funding from the Social Investment Fund (SIF).
“I was pleased to get a first-hand look at the site of the new pavilion at Leafair today which will be a significant addition to the 3G and grass playing pitches at the site and the floodlit jogging trail which opened last year,” he said.
“The project is part of an ambitious programme of sports pitch and supporting infrastructure development currently being undertaken by Council which includes the recently refurbished Brandywell Stadium and the work at the Melvin Sports Area.
“I am pleased that we are continuing our commitment in the Strategic Growth Plan to build the capacity of our local sporting and recreational clubs to become more sustainable and encourage higher levels of participation and proficiency in sport and recreational activities.
“I would like to congratulate the Leafair Community Association for their dedicated work in bringing the project to this key stage and acknowledge the funding from the Social Investment Fund which has helped make the plans a reality.”
Peter McDonald, Co-ordinator of the Leafair Community Association, said the construction of the Pavilion will help further their vision of creating a “one stop shop” for local people to improve their fitness at the site.
“We are delighted that work has now begun on the new Sports Pavilion at Leafair which will perfectly complement the existing facilities at the site.
“It will be particularly useful for sports clubs and groups to change for games but it’s a facility that the whole community will have access to and gain value from through the recreation and office space in the building.
“As an association we are keen to promote the health and wellbeing of the people who live within the area and we hope this facility will be an added incentive for people to exercise regularly.
“With an outdoor gym, playing pitches and a floodlit jogging trail already in place, the site is well on its way to becoming a one stop shop for people to work towards their fitness goals.”
Noel McCartney, Chair of the local SIF Steering Group, added his congratulations to everyone who helped bring the project to this key stage.
“I would like to congratulate the Leafair Community Association and the staff at Derry City and Strabane District Council for all their dedicated work in bringing this project to the point where work has begun on this multi-use community facility,” he said.
“It is a significant development and will be a welcome addition to the existing facilities at Leafair.
“Improved leisure facilities can play a key role in encouraging more of our citizens to be active and help them reap the many health and wellbeing benefits of exercise.
“I would like to thank the late Martin Mc Guinness as well as Peter Robinson who set up the Social Investment Fund and allocated £9.5 million to Derry.”
Full booking details for Derry City and Strabane District Council’s sports facilities are available at www.derrystrabane.com/leisure.