Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has cut the first sod to mark the beginning of work on new £2.8million sports facilities for Dungiven.
The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure is investing £2.5million, while Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is contributing £339,000.
The Minister performed the sod cutting in the presence of local elected representatives, stakeholders and members of the community.
Highlighting the benefits the investment will bring to the area, the Minister said: “I am delighted to be able to get work under way on state-of-the-art sports facilities for Dungiven. There is a clear demand in the local area for sports facilities and the current provision is no longer suitable.
“The new facilities will include a pavilion with dance studio, sports hall, gym, changing rooms and kitchen, while the complex will incorporate a floodlit 3G pitch. Also, crucially, the complex will bring together on one site the sport and leisure facilities for the town and surrounding area.
“People of all ages and abilities will benefit, and I am particularly keen to ensure that people with disabilities and those who may not normally have access to sports facilities are accommodated.
“Construction work begins now and is planned for completion by the end of the 2016/17 financial year.”
Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan, said: “This investment is a great opportunity for the Borough, particularly for those living in Dungiven and the surrounding area. Council thanks the Minister for her support and investment as today marks the start of the project with contractors on site.”
Kieran McKeever, of Dungiven Area Sports Forum, said it was a great day for Dungiven and the surrounding community.
“We’re really happy the project finally got the go ahead and the official launch is now taking place. It is exciting times ahead for all the people from all of the community,and children who will benefit immensely from these new facilities,” said the GAA All Star.
“We want to thank the minister for following through on the project and her belief in the community. We hope we have All Ireland, and world champions from this investment into the town.”