Plans for pitch upgrade works at the Foyle Arena and Bishop’s Field are a step closer to reality after the latest announcement of funding from the UK Government and the Irish FA was made this week.
The works are two of 17 projects across Northern Ireland that will receive a share of £5.66m in funding aimed at boosting grassroots sports facilities.
The Foyle Arena will receive £291,337 towards the total cost of £485,561 while the Bishop’s Field in Creggan will benefit to the tune of £329,784 for the £549,640 works there.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Patricia Logue, welcomed news that the pitches can now be upgraded to FIFA Quality standard 3G artificial grass.
“This is brilliant news for the sports fraternity in the city and particularly the soccer clubs who use the pitches at Bishop’s Field and the Foyle Arena,” she said.
“The finished projects will allow clubs and players of all levels to come together and play on safe, state of the art pitches all year round.
“They will give our young people the best possible platform to fulfil their potential in the game and will also be ideal for hosting games at events such as the Foyle Cup.
“I would like to commend Council officers and their community partners for bringing the upgrade works to this key stage.”
Irish FA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson added: “Good grassroots football facilities means a better experience for everyone participating in the game, at whatever level they’re at.
“This funding will provide 11 new artificial grass pitches and upgrade six existing pitches across Northern Ireland.
“It aligns with our commitment to support new and improved facilities, with the hosting of UEFA Euro 2028 in the UK and Ireland, it is crucial that the grassroots game across the nation benefits from investment, too.”
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris welcomed the funding boost.
He said: “Communities across Northern Ireland will have more spaces to come together, get fit and have fun thanks to this fantastic UK Government initiative.
“Access to high quality sports facilities boosts mental and physical health, and this funding is sure to have a significant positive impact.”
The Irish FA/DCMS Grassroots Facilities Investment Fund is part of a major UK Government investment in grassroots facilities UK-wide worth more than £400 million.
It covers multisport pitches, tennis courts and swimming pools.
Since 2021 the UK Government has delivered new facilities or improvements at almost 2400 sites across the UK, aiming to get at least 120,000 more people active.
Full details on Council’s Leisure and Sports services, including how to book facilities and access Sports Development Services, visit: derrystrabane.com/leisureTags: