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Successful fun day showcases £1.4m 3G multi-sport facility for Melvin

29 May 2018

Work on the new 3G multi-sports facility at Melvin in Strabane is now completed and Derry City and Strabane District Council worked with local user groups, clubs, community organisations and schools to organise a hugely successful Fun Day of sporting events yesterday to showcase the new facilities and promote sport and well- being in the area.

A key part of the Council’s strategic leisure investment programme, over £1.4m was allocated towards replacing the existing sand synthetic pitch and grass football pitch with a new multi-sport surface aimed primarily to cater for football, rugby and Gaelic sport in the Strabane area.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Maolíosa McHugh explained that the project has been in the planning for a number of years and marks another significant investment by Council on sports and recreational facilities in the city and district.

He explained: “This was historically a legacy Strabane Council project, that was developed by Derry City and Strabane District at a cost of approximately £1,413,200.00 made up of £590,200 of external funding secured from the Department for Communities’ Neighbourhood Renewal Investment Fund and £823,000 from Council. It’s a huge investment for the Strabane area and something many of the local community and sports groups have been campaigning for.  This project represents a firm commitment by the Council to provide state of the art sports and recreational facilities for local clubs and the wider community across Derry and Strabane and Council is delighted that the new 3G pitch provision will promote Melvin Sports Complex as a hub for sporting activities, encouraging healthier and more active lifestyles for users.

“This is a hugely important project for Strabane, as not only does it address the issue of pitch provision in the area, but also allows to achieve our objectives to encourage increased participation in sports and allow us to develop a facility that can be used all year round for training and competitive games. It can also be used to promote and develop social and partnership engagement between the various sports clubs and cross community interaction.”

John Kelpie, Chief Executive of Derry City and Strabane District Council said: “This project follows on from £2.2 million of investment in 2014 of major refurbishment works at Melvin Sports Complex. This additional investment complements the current facilities that include a Sports Hall, Studios, Conference Rooms, Cryospa, Soft Play, Play Park, MUGA, tennis court, and Running track. The investment is also in addition to over £60,000 to upgrade the Arena Grass Pitch and Changing provision at Melvin Sports Complex that now meets the criteria for intermediate standard football and is in keeping with the Council’s key objectives set out in the Strategic Growth Plan to invest in sport and leisure provision across the Council.”

The new facilities have been welcomed by local sports clubs and user groups including Kevin Doherty from the Irish Football Association, who said the new developments at Melvin are an excellent resource for soccer clubs, while Michael Cooke from Sports NI said that the addition of 3G facilities at Melvin was great news for local soccer, rugby and Gaelic sports clubs and will go some way to addressing the shortfall identified in Sport Northern Ireland’s Bridging the Gap report.

A wide range of sporting events to showcase the range of sports and abilities that can use the new facilities are being organised over the coming weeks following the success of the Fun Day.

They include a Schools IFA Soccer Blitz, an IFA Community Day and EBA sports Day in May. A   GAA Year 8 Schools blitz, GAA Club Day; IFA Games Development Centre,  Rugby Club  under 13 Blitz , a GAA disability Hub day  and a  Special Olympic Exhibition Match in June with an Ulster Rugby Sports Day scheduled for early September.

The new facilities will be open for public bookings from 01 June. To find out more and to make bookings please contact 028 71382660.

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