Derry is in a positive place as it moves into the next phase of its journey of transformation and regeneration.”
These were the words of Derry’s Mayor Martin Reilly as he viewed the site of the new multi-purpose arena planned for St Columb’s Park, one of Derry City Council’s key capital investment legacy projects.
Work has now begun on the construction phase of the £12m new arena at St Columb’s Park marking a new era not only for the Waterside area, but for the whole city and region.
“It will put us on the map in terms of providing state of the art facilities for judo, climbing and wrestling, as well as sports development facilities and a dedicated Performance Development Centre including a strength and conditioning suite,” he said.
“It is a significant investment by Derry City Council in leisure provision for the public and state-of-the-art facilities for a range of sports. I am delighted that the build project is on schedule and on budget and look forward to seeing the project progress over the coming months.
“The project has been made possible through major funding from Derry City Council with support from Sport NI and DSD. In addition to significant sport and leisure facilities the new arena will also be a permanent venue for cultural, entertainment and commercial events. This project is expected to open in the spring of 2015, offering new and improved leisure opportunities for everyone.
“The new arena will provide a multi-purpose indoor Sports Hall with seating capacity of 2,000, a fully equipped modern fitness suite, a strength and conditioning area, a purpose built sports development and athlete support services area, a 25m swimming pool with a moving floor alongside a separate children’s pool and two new outdoor synthetic five-a-side pitches.”
He said the arena was one of a number of exciting projects across the city currently in the pipeline including a number of new hotels, the redevelopment of Brooke Park, the new Science Park at Fort George, the proposed Ebrington Masterplan, the appointment of consultants to look at options for a new Templemore Sports Complex, the Foyle Valley Gateway plan to include the development of the Daisyfield, the riverside park and Brandywell, and a Maritime Museum at Ebrington .
He explained that more than £137m worth of capital investment has been pumped into the local infrastructure in the lead up to and during the Derry’s year as City of Culture 2013, and up to £500m has been earmarked as part of the One Plan’s 10 year strategy.
Looking ahead, the Mayor said Derry is in a positive place as it moves into the next phase of its journey of transformation.
“There is no doubt 2013 was a phenomenal year for the city. The success of the year is down to the community effort with everyone playing their part in making it a success. It all came about thanks to the exceptional support given by everyone involved in the year, from the people organizing the events, to those who attended them, the people who worked in the shops, hotels, and those who planted the flowers or cleaned streets.”
“Derry City Council is directly involved in a number of investment regeneration projects that will have long-term benefits for the city.”
As the city moves forward into delivering on legacy and an exciting year as Music City 2014, the Mayor said successful collaborative working between city partners and the public as well as further community engagement would ensure the city builds on the community spirit and pride that had been evident since 2013.
“Derry City Council’s legacy promise is about providing cultural sustainability and encouraging communities and visitors to continue their connections with culture and the city. It’s about working with DCAL, Arts Council and other agencies to ensure that we build upon the amazing progress made in 2013 to make 2014 and beyond hugely successful and memorable for the city.”