Independent members of Derry City and Strabane District Council have hailed the ‘perseverance and patience’ of the people of the Brandywell throughout the ongoing redevelopment of the football and greyhound racing facilities in the area.
Councillors Gary Donnelly, Sean Carr, Warren Robinson and Paul Gallagher, recently visited the new Brandywell Stadium to get an overview of progress on the redevelopment before the site is officially opened in early 2018.
It’s expected the new 3,700 capacity football stadium and the new dog racing track at the old showgrounds will be handed over to Derry City and Strabane District Council early in the New Year.
In a joint statement following their visit, the four councillors said feedback from the local community and the various Brandywell user groups, had helped sculpt the final development.
They stated: “When initial proposals came before council in 2015 they did not include the provision of a dog track.
“Further, a children’s play park was planned for the Daisyfield site which would have meant that local children from the Brandywell area would have had to cross a busy main road to gain access to the play park.
“We, as independent councillors, spoke to stakeholders, including residents and the Brandywell Racing Company, and lobbied that none of the current user groups should be left out of plans to upgrade the Brandywell Stadium site.
“Changes made as a result meant that a children’s play area is now included within the site and the dog track, whilst moved out of the main football stadium, will now have its own dedicated track and facilities.”
Following their visit the councillors said they were very pleased with the progress that had been made and that they were looking forward to the completion of construction work over the next several weeks.
“We visited the site on Friday and were impressed by the facilities that will now be provided to the local football fraternity.
“The new stand is certainly an improvement over what was there before. The new dog track will now boast state of the art modern facilities.
“The local community and user groups should be commended for their perseverance and patience which has got us to the stage where a massive development will be made available to the local community, the football and greyhound fraternities,” they stated.
The council expects construction on the new stadium to be completed before the Christmas holidays.