Belfast Telegraph

City Council and GAA pitch in with £15m boost

By Frank Brownlow

Local sport received a huge boost yesterday when Belfast City Council announced a massive £15million investment in facilities.

The council is providing £14.1million from its £150million City Investment Programme and the GAA is giving an additional £1million.

As part of the initiative, a £750,000 capital enhancement programme has been awarded to six schools to improve facilities and allow for greater community use.

In addition 10 other sports sites across Belfast will benefit from the funding, resulting in five new 3G pitches and eight new changing facilities.

Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon said: "Sport is key to our city and has provided Belfast with some of its proudest moments – whether Olympic glory or our recent success at the Commonwealth Games or Carl Frampton fighting his way to become World Champion.

"There's no doubt we punch above our weight when it comes to sporting success, but continued success requires strong grassroots investment.

"Partnership investment with the GAA underlines our commitment towards improving provision at a local level to encourage more people to take up sport and boost the possibility of even more success in the future."

Paraic Duffy, GAA Director General, said: "I am pleased that the GAA is in a position to be part of the launch of the Belfast City Council pitches strategy.

"This will provide new multi-sport pitches that will be suitable for both training and the playing of Gaelic games.

"We welcome this, along with the commitment from Belfast City Council to partner with the GAA in developing new programmes.

"As part of the ongoing GAA Belfast Development Plan and National Urban strategy, the Central Council has committed £1million to this programme."

The £750,000 to be shared among six schools will cover schemes such as installing floodlighting at St Mary's CBS, to the creation of a new 3G Multi-use Games Area at Corpus Christi College.

Other schools to benefit are Grosvenor Grammar, Belfast Royal Academy, Bunscoil an tSliebhe Dhuibh and Aquinas Grammar School.

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