SDLP councillor Brian Tierney has written to the permanent secretary of the Department for Communities seeking clarification on the second phase of the Brandywell re -development.
Councillor Tierney said the new stadium and facilities at the Brandywell unveiled this week were fantastic, but added:“We have always been keen to ensure council was ready to apply for monies from the Regional sub-stadia for soccer fund once it is opened.
“Just before the collapse of the Executive former Minster for the Department for Communities, Mr Paul Given, indicated on a visit to Derry that he was preparing his department to open a second phase of the regional sub-stadia for soccer fund. This hasn’t happened to date as no minster has been in place to open the much needed fund.
“I’ve written to the Permanent Secretary to seek clarification on the position if the deadlock at Stormont continues. I’ve asked can the Department to confirm if there is any indication of this fund opening without a minster in place after a budget is set?
“Furthermore, I’ve asked can the Department confirm what representations have been made in relation to the fund to the Secretary of State ahead of the British Government moving a budget in London? Finally, could they advise in detail should there be no minister in place, who will decide if this fund is opened and if they understand that a recommendation will be made for the fund to be made available?”
Colr. Tierney said money for phase 2 should be released as soon as possible. “Let’s not forget that a similar fund allocated almost £100m to stadium’s in Belfast. It’s time that this fund was opened and Derry got our fair share,” he said.