Green light for Derry soccer hotspot

Republic of Ireland international, James McClean
Republic of Ireland international, James McClean

Plans to build a new soccer hotspot in Derry have been given the green light by the north’s Environment Minister.

Mark H Durkan has approved the plans that will see nine new floodlit, synthetic grass pitches constructed at Bay Road at a cost of £1m.

The project is being developed by the organisation behind the Brunswick MovieBowl and is expected to create up to 20 new jobs. In June 2012, Derry soccer star James McClean gave his backing to the project.

The Minister said: “This new leisure facility, adjacent to Bay Road Local Nature Reserve, will inject investment into the locality and will also benefit the city as a whole with a new citywide facility.

“It will help to improve health and wellbeing, will provide excellent sporting facilities for the young people in the area and will help Derry to continue to produce fine young players.”

Mark H Durkan added: “I will continue to ensure the right decisions are made and that DOE builds a better environment and a stronger economy.”

Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney welcomed the announcement.

“As well as creating much needed employment, the new complex on Bay Road will further enhance the sporting facilities available to people across the city. This announcement comes just a month after confirmation by DCAL Minister Carál Ní Chuilín of an allocation of £2million funding for development of the Daisyfield and Brandywell Showground’s, unlocking the Foyle Valley/Brandywell Master plan in conjunction with Council funding of £2.8million.

“I look forward to seeing these projects being delivered on for the people of Derry.

“It’s also important that local residents in areas where the new developments are taking place are kept fully up to date with the plans,” he said.

Derry City Council will be consulted on the proposal at its next Planning Committee meeting on December 3.