Belfast Telegraph

£31m to redevelop football stadium

Funding worth £31 million has been agreed to redevelop Northern Ireland's international football stadium.

It will allow the governing Irish Football Association (IFA) to commission the building of new stands at Windsor Park in Belfast and raise its capacity to 18,000.

Stormont Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin said: "This signals a new chapter in the history of Windsor Park.

"Funding of £31 million will allow the Irish Football Association to modernise Windsor and raise the capacity to 18,000.

"This is a tremendous boost for the local football family which will see two new stands and two refurbished stands."

An international game against Russia was called off at Windsor last winter because the pitch did not have under-soil heating.

The stadium is also home to Linfield Football Club.

The refurbishment is expected to be complete by 2016.

Meanwhile, funding worth GBP62 million has been agreed to redevelop a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) stadium in West Belfast.

Ms Ni Chuilin gave the go-ahead for Casement Park after planning approval was announced earlier this week.

The money will allow the GAA to order construction of a state-of-the-art venue for 38,000 spectators.

Ms Ni Chuilin said: "This investment of over £62 million is for the entire West Belfast community.

"Casement Park will put this part of the city on the map and open up many economic and tourism opportunities as well as providing a modern headquarters for Gaelic games in Ulster."

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