COUNCILLORS have rubber-stamped an additional £123,000 in funds to further enhance the planned provision of a 3G astro turf pitch at Melvin.
Revealed at a recent meeting of the Governance and Strategic Planning Committee, the monies now brings Derry City and Strabane District Council’s total funding allocation for the project to £823k.
“Following the recent completion of the £2.2m Melvin Sports Complex refurbishment in 2014, members will be aware that work is currently ongoing for the provision of a 3rd generation astro turf pitch on the site of the existing 2G synthetic pitch. This will provide a facility which can be used all year and which can accommodate soccer, gaelic football and rugby,” the lead finance officer detailed in their report to councillors. Council has already allocated funds of £700k for this project with a further £645k of funding secured from Department for Communities completing the funding package for the estimated £1.345m project.
“Alongside this, officers are working with local running, boxing and soccer clubs on upgrade proposals for the Arena Pitch, also situated within the grounds of Melvin Sports Complex. This project provides an excellent opportunity for council to avail of considerable Sport NI monies allocated for multi-sport provision and development and a more detailed update will be provided following consideration by the Capital Projects and Corporate Programme Planning Group.”
Following the meeting at council, Strabane Sinn Féin councillor Brian McMahon welcomed the decision.
He said, “Recent changes to the design of the new astroturf pitch has increased the cost of the overall project by £123k.
“These costs are attributed to issues such as lengthening the field slightly to improve line layout for all sporting codes, increasing the fence height behind the soccer goals and adding a number of pedestrian gates for ball retrieval.”
He added, “It is hoped that work on the 3G upgrade will commence in June and when completed will bring the facility up to the requisite standard capable of hosting competitive games.”