Millions being invested in sport

The Sports Minister has qualified how millions of pounds earmarked for sports development in the north west is to be spent.

Responding to questions by UUP leader Mike Nesbitt, Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has provided further information and clarification in relation to the development of sports facilities in the North West under the City of Culture Legacy.

Responding, the Minister said:“A total of £2.5million has been identified, through Limavady Borough Council, for a new sports complex in Dungiven and £1.5million for Coleraine Showgrounds.

“I would like to clarify that as part of the City of Culture capital legacy projects in 2014/15, Coleraine Borough Council has been allocated £1.5million to develop the first phase of a multi-sport ‘sports village’ in Rugby Avenue, Coleraine. Phase 1 of the Coleraine Borough Council project will provide provision of two synthetic pitches and ancillary facilities which are due to be operational by September 2014.

“DCAL also intends to invest in other City of Culture capital legacy projects which are at the initial stages of development and planning; and which are subject to securing Executive funding. If these projects are successful in going through the due processes, there will be DCAL investment of: at least £2million towards the Daisyfield/Showgrounds element of the Foyle Valley Gateway Masterplan. Derry City Council is currently developing a business case for the project.

In addition, there is £2.5million to develop a sporting hub in Dungiven. Limavady Borough Council is currently developing a business case for the project.

“I apologise for any confusion that may have been caused. I will be writing to the Member and the Assembly clarifying the situation.”

The Minister also highlighted her commitment to ensuring that sport is a key element of the social and economic legacy from the 2013 City of Culture which extends across the North West of Ireland.

The Minister said: “I am making a bid to the Executive to secure funding over the 2014-16 financial years to maximise the impact and sustainable legacy of City of Culture. This will include harnessing the transformative power of sport to tackle poverty and social exclusion and improve the lives of people and communities across the North West.”