Derry & Strabane Council said it hopes to appoint a design team for a major new sports centre to replace Templemore Complex within weeks.
The council has confirmed that development work on a business framework for the leisure facility at the Templemore site, and another at Strabane, are now being finalised.
State of the art centres “which promote sporting excellence, health and well-being and which will attract visitors to the city and region” are being planned, a spokesperson said, adding:
“The council anticipates the announcement of plans to appoint the principal design teams in the latter part of this year.”
The development comes after the council’s health and communities committee last week unanimously backed spending £120,000 to improve the current Templemore Sports Complex as an interim measure.
This funding will be used for repainting, upgrading of the reception, health suite, disabled access and general amenity works.
Independent councillor Gary Donnelly described the funding as a “positive development” for the many users of the Complex, adding that there were numerous problems with the current facilities. He claimed that some changing facilities were in such a bad state that they “would remind you of conditions in parts of Crumlin Road Gaol”.
Sinn Féin Shantallow councillor Elisha McCallion also welcomed the confirmation of the funding to carry out essential works.
Colr McCallion said: “Over the next few years I believe that we will see one of the most extensive developments at the complex that has been witnessed in this city. In the meantime I welcome council’s decision to carry out a much required makeover of these very popular facilities.”