Plans for a state-of-the-art community facility in the Leafair area are “in a state of readiness” and waiting for the green light, according to community leaders.
Plans for a new building which will house changing rooms, offices, and community facilities are just waiting for a funding announcement, chairperson of Leafair Community Association, Peter McDonald has said.
Junior Minister Martina Anderson visited the area this week to look at the plans for the development.
“I would like to commend everyone involved in this project. They have worked very hard over the years to have such a great facility right in the heart of the greater Shantallow community. Over 45,000 people have used this facility since it opened last year. I have no doubt those numbers will grow in the years ahead,” Ms Anderson said.
Ms Anderson also said the facility would enhance community provision in the area. “Quality, accessible facilities are essential in encouraging people of all ages and abilities to take part in regular physical activity and sport. This facility will create endless opportunities for the local sporting and community organisations to play, teach and coach on a state of the art surface,” she said.
Mr McDonald also said he is hopeful that work on the project can start soon. “We are in a state of readiness. Derry City Council has given the project its backing and I would be hopeful that it will go ahead. It would make such a difference to this area. 45,000 people have used the football pitch since it opened and they have been using changing facilities that are outdated so that number will increase when these new changing facilities are built.
“The development will feature the changing rooms on the bottom floor, community facilities on the second floor, and Greater Shantallow Area Partnership will be based on the top floor,” he said.
Mr McDonald also said it would benefit the entire area. “This is not just about Leafair, it is for the greater Shantallow area. Five jobs have been created here so it is also a social economy creating employment. Any money generated will go back into the community,” he said.