Work on Derry’s new £10million leisure centre - complete with Ireland’s first judo centre of excellence - will get underway early next year.
Derry City Council say work on the first phase of the North West Regional Sports Campus at St Columb’s Park is expected to be completed in late 2013.
That includes the judo, wrestling and indoor climbing hall, multi-purpose hall, gym and 3G pitch, is expected to be completed in late 2013.
Earlier this week councillors rubber stamped the plans for the new £9.6million sports complex at St Columb’s that will eventually also include a new swimming pool and squash courts.
Under the plans, the existing leisure centre at St Columb’s and Lisnagelvin Leisure Centre will close and the land at Lisnagelvin sold - a move that will recoup around £5.6million towards the £9.6million of the new facilities.
SDLP councillor Martin Reilly, chair of Derry City Council’s Development Committee, says approval for the centre “represents a significant investment in the leisure infrastructure in the Waterside which will benefit not just those in the immediate area but the wider North West.
“The construction of this new state-of-the-art building will give ratepayers the benefits of a modern facility.”
Sinn Fein councillor Maeve McLaughlin says the £10million centre “will enhance the entire area.
“With the new footbridge it will be accessible to everyone in the city and is badly needed to replace the ageing Lisnagelvin Sports Centre and St Columbs Park centres.” she says.