The council has hit the target with the announcement of funding to facilitate the construction of a hi-tech Third Generation synthetic sports pitch at St Patrick’s College, Banbridge.
The project which is supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) will include a full size 130m x 80m 3G pitch with floodlighting, fencing and changing pavilion which can accommodate soccer, rugby and Gaelic games.
Once completed the pitch will be operated on a dual use basis with St Patrick’s College using it during the day and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council managing the facility for community use.
The funding for the shared space project has come about thanks to the combined efforts of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and St Patricks College who between them have secured the £1.5m costs to facilitate the build with the council approving a budget of £684,496 as well as receiving £750,000 funding from the Peace IV Programme. The remainder of the costs were made possible thanks to St Patrick’s College successfully securing a £100,000 National Lottery funding from Sport NI’s Single Facility Capital Programme.
Speaking of the new venture Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Gareth Wilson said: “On behalf of the council I am delighted to announce the funding that will allow this eagerly awaited project to become a reality for both the pupils and staff of St Patrick’s College and residents of the Borough.
“State of the art facilities such as this are essential in promoting health and wellbeing for young people as part of their educational experience plus the proposed dual use basis will allow the council to promote the facility as a valuable leisure and sporting resource for the greater community.
“I keenly await the completed project which will undoubtedly prove to be a great asset for all.”
Principal of St Patrick’s College, Mrs Roisin Woods, spoke of her delight at the exciting news for the school: “The entire community at St. Patrick’s College is absolutely thrilled at the announcement that funding has been made available for a brand new 3G pitch at the school.
“The new pitch will be a fantastic asset to Banbridge, providing both the open space and the opportunities for people of all ages to be active and enjoy exercising, whether in competitive sports or in leisure activities.”