Sinn Féin councillor Maeve McLaughlin has called on Derry City Council to make funding the regeneration of the Brandywell area a priority.
The Sinn Féin group leader on Council said funding for the project, which will see the transformation of the entire area, including the football stadium. should be made available though the leisure fund.
Councillors and community workers in the area have been calling for a major regeneration project in the Brandywell for a number of years.
Derry City Council has said it is committed to the regeneration and is currently exploring ways of funding the plans.
Colr. McLaughlin said; “I have been making the case for some time that there should be a specific focus on finding funding streams that could potentially help the regeneration of the Brandywell.
“It’s important that we exhaust all avenues to find funds that can go towards such a key catalyst projects for our city,” she said.
The Sinn Féin colr. said the regeneration plans should be linked to the preparations for the City of Culture celebrations.
“I am making the call today that Derry City Council should prioritise funding for the regeneration of the Brandywell through the councils Leisure Fund as a matter of urgency.
“Particularly as we plan for 2013 and the many events and opportunities that will bring to our city,” she explained.
Colr. McLaughlin said a huge opportunity exists to transform the Brandywell area, one of the most deprived areas of the city.
“The future plans for the area hold the key to unlocking massive opportunities and potential for Derry as seen in other cities that made investments .
“The only way that is going to happen is for us to make the plans on paper become a reality and put all the pieces of the jigsaw together.
“We need to say clearly now is the time to move, now is the time to make it happen,” she said.