Culmore Youth F.C. fears losing its pitches

A local youth football club may have to look for a new home after the playing pitches it currently uses in Culmore were placed on the market.

The recreational pitches used by Culmore Youth Football Club have been advertised for sale for £195,000 as part of a wider parcel of land near the tip of the Culmore Point peninsula.

The pitches that are located on land zoned for recreation and open space use are currently leased by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

However, there is uncertainty over what will happen if the land is sold, members of Culmore Youth F.C. told the ‘Journal’.

In a statement the club committee said it hoped it could stay at the pitches where hundreds of young people have played football over the years.

Chairman Ben Dooher stated: “We at Culmore Youth F.C. are currently working to secure the future of our facilities at Culmore Point, which have recently been put on the market. The football club will continue to thrive no matter the outcome of the sale.”

Volunteers told the ‘Journal’ that the football pitch has been home to Culmore Youth F.C. for over 30 years and as such has been an important recreational outlet for decades now.

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Mr. Dooher, meanwhile, stated: “This facility is the only sporting facility in our community and its future as a home for Culmore Youth F.C remains a very high priority for everyone involved in football and sports in the area.”

The pitches are discreetly located on the banks of the river Foyle, accessible by way of a laneway that runs from Culmore Point Road.

They were recently advertised for sale by estate agent Armstrong Gordon.

A brochure published by the agency states: “Armstrong Gordon are delighted to offer for sale this substantial piece of land occupying a large portion of ground known as Culmore Point. The lands have a mix on zonings and extend in total to approximately 8.64 acres most of which is situated within the development limit. The lands include sports land, beach, forest, fields and on old historic fort site. There are a number of buildings currently on the land which are used as a tea hut and storage as well as a static caravan.”

Mr. Dooher said the club would like to ‘thank everyone who is working towards this goal of maintaining and developing key sporting facilities for the whole community of Culmore for this and future generations to enjoy’.

The vendors said: “At this stage, we’re not in a position to know what any potential future owner may wish to do with the land.”