Connacht Rugby can push ahead with the redevelopment of its Sportsground stadium after getting a grant of €20m from the Irish government.
The €10m allocated under the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure (LSSIF) has been matched with a further €10m commitment.
A further €10m in private funding will come through a mixture of Connacht Rugby funds and an approved bank credit facility.
The €30m project will include a full redevelopment of the stadium as well as construction of a multi-use indoor high performance training centre.
Government Chief Whip Sean Kyne T.D. confirmed that the additional investment has been secured due to “the economic significance of the Sportsground redevelopment to the wider West of Ireland region. The investment is fully aligned with Project 2040, the National Development Plan and the Government’s commitment to balanced regional development”.
Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane said:
There is huge excitement in Connacht Rugby and throughout the province, at the announcement that €20m in state funding is being allocated to the redevelopment of the Sportsground. I want to fully acknowledge the very significant support we have received from An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
Mr Varadkar personally visited the Sportsground last year to receive a briefing on our plans and the strategic importance of the project to the wider regional economy. I would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Government Chief Whip Sean Kyne for the support he has shown throughout the project and in ultimately delivering the additional funding to make this project a reality.
Connacht Rugby’s successful application for funding under the LSSIF received unanimous political support from members of all political parties including Minister Michael Ring, Hildergarde Naughton and Independent TD Noel Grealish. Ruane added:
We have always said that our vision is to ensure that the province has a fit for purpose stadium and training centre which future generations of sports stars, supporters and all the people of the West of Ireland can be immensely proud of. These facilities will also be available to the Special Olympics and the Community Games members, who gave priority status in support of our application.
The allocation of state funding is critical to the Sportsground’s redevelopment and today’s announcement means that we can now immediately move forward with complete certainty towards delivering this transformational project.
Full planning permission was granted for the phased redevelopment in May 2019.