Brandywell stadium: no funding application

Aerial view of the Brandywell Sports Stadium.  Picture taken by Aveen Peoples. 3004Ap1
Aerial view of the Brandywell Sports Stadium. Picture taken by Aveen Peoples. 3004Ap1
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No funding application has been submitted to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure for the redevelopment of the Brandywell stadium.

The revelation came after Foyle SDLP MLA, Pat Ramsey asked the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Caral Ni Chuilin whether “the Project Design Team for the Brandywell Project has been appointed”.

The future of the stadium used by Derry City, which struggles to meet the standards required for top European matches, has become a political football between the SDLP and Sinn Fein.

SDLP MLAs have launched a series of questions to the DCAL Minister, the latest being from Mr Ramsey.

In response to the question on whether a design team had been appointed, Ms Ni Chuilin suggested that he needs to direct his questions elsewhere.

She wrote: “I am aware of plans to redevelop the Brandywell Stadium.

“No formal funding application has been received by my Department.

“Queries around the appointment of design teams should be raised with the project promoter Derry City Council.”

Mr Ramsey asked a second question whether “in light of recent budget cuts announcement within her Department, whether the planned redevelopment work at the Brandywell Stadium will proceed”.

Again, Ms Ni Chuilin said that she was aware of plans to redevelop the Brandywell Stadium, adding: “No formal funding application has been received by my Department.

I intend to submit a bid to the Executive to secure funding in the next CSR for a Sub Regional Stadium Programme.

“The Executive previously endorsed the development of sub-regional stadia as a priority area of spend in the next CSR period beginning 2015-16.

“A sub-regional stadia programme is a logical channel for any potential funding application as the Brandywell would be one of a number of eligible venues across the north of Ireland.

“My Department is currently preparing a Strategic Outline Case for submission to the Executive to support the case for funding.

“No decision has been taken on specific stadia that will benefit from this funding.”