Belfast Telegraph

O’Neill pitches in with funding for new sporting facilities

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill visited the Mid Ulster Sports Arena to see at first hand the progress of the new indoor facility and Pavilion.

The indoor sports facility (2,400 sq metres) will contain three pitches (25m x 32m) and a viewing area. Two of the pitches will have a 3G surface and one will be a needle punch surface. The Pavilion will be a single storey changing facility to complement the existing buildings and cater for additional requirements brought about by the indoor sports area and will include six new changing rooms; two official rooms and facilities.

 

Minister O’Neill said: “The Rural Development Programme, through Local Action Group SWARD, are providing nearly £800,000 towards the cost of this very important project to the Mid Ulster area. This is one of many strategic projects that my Department is supporting across the north which are designed to help boost investments in rural areas and maximise the drawdown of the EU funding available.”

 

The Minster continued: “This project will provide a high quality indoor multisport and multi activity hall and pavilion and will increase participation from under-represented groups such as females, the elderly and those with a disability. It will also improve quality of life of those living in rural areas providing much needed access to recreational services for rural dwellers.

 

“This is a key aim of my Rural Development Programme and I am delighted that locally, the progress is tangible and visible to all. The project is due to complete early in 2014 and will be available to people from across the locality, and indeed further afield to benefit from this wonderful recreational facilities for years to come.”

 

 

 

Notes to Editors

 

1. Cookstown District Council received a Letter of Offer for £790,000 from SWARD under Axis 3 Measure 3.4: “Basic services for the economy and rural population.” Total project cost is projected at £995,000 with Cookstown Council contributing the other £205,000.

 

2. The Indoor sports facility (2,400 sq metres) will contain 3 pitches (25m x 32m) and a viewing area. Two of the pitches will have a 3G surface and one will be a needle punch surface. The Pavilion will be a single storey changing facility to complement the existing buildings and cater for additional requirements brought about by the indoor sports area and will include six new changing rooms; two official rooms and facilities.

 

3. SWARD cluster (Cookstown, Dungannon, Magherafelt and Fermanagh council areas) is responsible for delivery of Axis 3 ‘Quality of Life’ Measures of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 on behalf of DARD. SWARD has an allocation of £20,522,227

 

4. Axis 3 of the RDP contains the following measures:

 

· Diversification into non-agricultural activities – Farm Diversification

· Business creation and development

· Encouragement of tourism activities

· Basic services for the economy and rural population

· Village renewal and development

· Conservation and upgrading of the rural heritage

 

5. Local councils came together in clusters to deliver the Axis 3 ‘quality of life’ measures of the Programme on a sub-regional basis, and seven clusters were formed. Each cluster works with a Local Action Group ensuring bottom-up delivery with local people responsible for local decisions.

 

6. All media enquiries to DARD Press Office, telephone 028 9052 4619 e-mail pressoffice.group@dardni.gov.uk Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440, and your call will be returned.

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