Pat Ramsey, SDLP MLA for Foyle has welcomed the announcement that work will commence on a new Brandywell Stadium in May.
Mr. Ramsey said: “This announcement is a welcome relief to many Derry City supporters, many of whom have been demanding a stadium upgrade for twenty years.
“This is a two decades old campaign and while I welcome the announcement that works will commence in May, we should not see this as the end of the road.
“I am determined to ensure that the project benefits from match funding and that the funds released by Derry City Council are added to by the Assembly. I have already asked questions of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers with a view to ensuring Derry is best placed to benefit from the regional stadia programme. I would like to know how much money they are allocating to the project from their departmental budgets. Only a few weeks ago, Minister for Culture Arts and Leisure, Caral Ni Chuilin confirmed to me that the Brandywell would be an eligible venue for funding in 2015-16.
“There have been many false dawns in the road to a fit and proper Brandywell stadium so we only hope now that this announcement delivers.”
Mr, Ramsey MLA added: “Even when construction begins, we are not finished working to ensure the best football club in the country has facilities that it deserves and receives its fair allocation of Government funding.”