State investment in Sportsground redevelopment provides certainty towards delivering transformational project
The Irish Government has announced a total investment of €20m in to Connacht Rugby’s Sportsground redevelopment project.
The €10m allocated under the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure (LSSIF) has been matched with a further €10m commitment, as announced by Government Chief Whip, Sean Kyne T.D.
In his announcement, Mr Kyne confirmed that the additional investment has been secured due to “the economic significance of the Sportsground redevelopment to the wider West of Ireland region”. He added “The investment is fully aligned with Project 2040, the National Development Plan and the Government’s commitment to balanced regional development”.
Commenting on the historic investment, Connacht Rugby CEO, Willie Ruane, said:
There is huge excitement in Connacht Rugby and throughout the province, at the announcement that €20m in state funding is being allocated to the redevelopment of the Sportsground.
I want to fully acknowledge the very significant support we have received from An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Mr Varadkar personally visited the Sportsground last year to receive a briefing on our plans and the strategic importance of the project to the wider regional economy.
I would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Government Chief Whip Sean Kyne for the support he has shown throughout the project and in ultimately delivering the additional funding to make this project a reality.
Connacht Rugby’s successful application for funding under the LSSIF received unanimous political support from members of all political parties including Minister Michael Ring, Hildergarde Naughton and Independent TD Noel Grealish.
Commenting on the LSSIF application process, Ruane added:
We have always said that our vision is to ensure that the province has a fit for purpose stadium and training centre which future generations of sports stars, supporters and all the people of the West of Ireland can be immensely proud of. These facilities will also be available to the Special Olympics and the Community Games members, who gave priority status in support of our application.
The allocation of state funding is critical to the Sportsground’s redevelopment and today’s announcement means that we can now immediately move forward with complete certainty towards delivering this transformational project.
The phased project will cost €30m to complete in total and include not only a full redevelopment of the stadium, but also a multi-use indoor High Performance Training Centre. The project has been the subject of an independent economic appraisal by economist Dr Kevin Hannigan of KHSK Economic Consultants who found through a cost benefit analysis that the project will yield a net benefit of 53%.
Full planning permission was granted for the redevelopment back in May 2019.
Connacht Rugby’s Willie Ruane, Brian Mahony, Gavin Duffy, Fergal Dempsey and Karl Boyle are all regular attendees at ALSD International – Europe’s one and only event dedicated to the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector – with Brian Mahony being one of some 100+ industry experts having spoken at the 2018 and 2019 editions of this industry-leading event.
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