Hope Dungiven sports project will progress to next stage

Seamus Harkin, Colm McGuigan and James McMacken at the meeting held in Dungiven in June about sports facilities in the town. INLV2515-021KDR
Seamus Harkin, Colm McGuigan and James McMacken at the meeting held in Dungiven in June about sports facilities in the town. INLV2515-021KDR
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Local councillors are hopeful funding from Stormont for a multi million pound sports and leisure project in Dungiven will receive the green light this month, writes Sheena Jackson.

Details about the project are expected to be raised at a meeting of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council tonight, in committee.

In the pipeline for a number of years, the project began with the former Limavady Borough Council.

The initial estimated cost in the region of £7 million, including a pledge of £2.5 million funding from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL).

However, the project has been scaled back under the new Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, with plans to locate facilities on a ‘single-site’ development at the Council’s Curragh Road, with provision including a main hall, smaller halls, gym plus 3G facility, costing in excess of £2.5 million.

A business case has been submitted and Causeway Council officials are “waiting for the letter of offer of the money from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure upon receipt of which Council will consider the project moving forward”.

Sinn Fein councillor, Sean McGlinchey, is hopeful the project will move ahead.

Colr. McGlinchey said the current sports facility in Dungiven has served the community well for a number of years, but he said the Sports Pavilion on Chapel Road was no longer fit-for-purpose.

“When you look at the Sports pavilion, new facilities are badly needed to bring it up to standard and make it accessible for wheelchair users. You’re looking at somewhere in the region of £800,000 to carry out repairs and maintenance required to keep it open,” said Colr. McGlinchey.

“It’s important to say this project, hopefully that will move forward soon, will be for everybody in Dungiven and surrounding areas like Burnfoot. It’s for the whole area.”

At a meeting about the project on June 8th, representatives from St. Patrick’s Camogie Club and from St. Canice’s Ladies GFC said they currently have nowhere permanent to train, which they said was “discouraging” for players and felt “like we’re always on the beg”.

Some residents at the meeting expressed concerns about noise pollution, traffic, the impact of floodlights, and opening hours of the single-site facility and how close fencing would be to their homes.