Good progress has been made on the Brandywell Regeneration Project over the past number of weeks although some of the final works are weather dependent. Progress on the new the 3G pitch with the laying of the carpet is advanced although the final installation of the rubber crumb and sand dressing will complete as soon as weather permits.
A short dry spell of weather will be welcomed by all involved in this project as every effort is being made to get the stadium and dog track into operation as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile the internal completion of the new stand sees the facility take shape with the fit out of changing rooms and meeting rooms largely complete, although it is expected that the corporate facilities completion will complete at a later timescale when the fire safety glazing is installed.
The installation of seats commences this week and there is a strong push from the contractors to complete finishing works and the additional works approved by Council for the Southend stand are also ongoing.
Staff are planning for the opening of the facility that will see it being used for a wide range of sports including greyhound dog racing and competitive FAI League of Ireland premier games by Derry City FC. Booking arrangements will be announced shortly, although a phased range of trials for dog racing will commence this week as part of the commissioning arrangements.
Sports stadia ground licensing and FAI League of Ireland inspection will follow, preparing the way for competitive fixtures. In the interim sports development activity and Derry City FC and league club training will be programmed as part of the bedding in process of the 3G pitch surface.
The close out programme is being monitored on a weekly basis with the official fixture dates to be confirmed at the earliest opportunity.
The progress carried out to date has been welcomed by the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Maoliosa McHugh. He said: “The contractors and staff are pulling out all the stops to advance with this regeneration project and to get the facility up and running as soon as possible. As with any project of this scale, we have experienced some issues and delays, on top of that we have experienced some poor weather conditions, but we remain committed to working with all our stakeholders, user groups and the people of the Brandywell area to do what we can to have the facility open as soon as we can.”
“This is a hugely significant project for the Council and a key element of our Strategic Growth Plan to regenerate and invest in sport, health and well-being. The Council acknowledges the importance of the Brandywell as a Council asset and this investment is further evidence of the Council’s commitment to investing in the city and district and enhancing our sports, health and well-being facilities,” he said.