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Public will not fund Windsor Park's stand: Ni Chuilin

By David Young

Published 02/06/2015

Adamant: Sports minister Ni Chuilin
Adamant: Sports minister Ni Chuilin

No public money will be spent replacing Windsor Park's West Stand, Caral Ni Chuilin has confirmed.

Stormont's sports minister made clear the cost of both knocking down and rebuilding the stand was an issue for the Irish Football Association (IFA), the contractor and the insurers.

Major cracks were found in the stand after Northern Ireland's game against Finland in March.

Construction work had been ongoing on ground to the back of the stand at the time. The demolition recommendation came after structural engineers examined the damage. But the report outlining the cause of the cracks was not made public.

Stormont had committed more than £30 million to the redevelopment of Windsor Park.

Builders are fast-tracking this work to ensure the stadium has a 10,000 capacity for Northern Ireland's crucial Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania on June 13.

Ms Ni Chuilin insisted her department would not finance a new West Stand. "That is something the IFA are working out with the contractor and their insurer and I am led to believe this is being done with a can-do attitude," she told the Assembly. "I am very certain that the liability for not only the demolition but the completion of a new West Stand will not come from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure or indeed the public purse."

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