Sligo welcome top grant of €295,000 in funding


Sligo Rovers yesterday received what the club’s chairman Dermot Kelly described as a “game changing” grant in the latest round of regional capital funding with €295,000 to be provided for the improvement of training facilities at the Showgrounds.

The money, which will enable the club to lay a Uefa standard all weather pitch as well as a high quality grass training pitch and other ancillary facilities, is the largest single allocation made yesterday to football clubs and leagues.

But a number of projects in Connacht also fared well with the Mayo District League getting €250,000 for a new synthetic pitch, Mervue United picking up €190,000 for improvements to their artificial pitch and the Galway and District League getting €60,000 towards work to upgrade their dressingrooms and club house.

The grants announced yesterday were divided almost precisely two to one in favour of Connacht over Leinster with the other regions omitted on this occasion.

The award to the Mayo District League comes less than a month after Westport United, Minister for Sport Michael Ring’s local club, received €200,000 towards the development of their new €3 million home on land purchased from the Westport House Estate.

In the case of Sligo Rovers, the money will go a long way towards funding the completion of the club’s long drawn up plan for an integrated football facility that can be used on a year round basis by members of the local community while also providing a solid basis for the development of the club’s professional side.

“It’s tremendous news for us,” said club chairman Kelly last night.

“The total value of the development is in the region of €500,000 but that will leave us with a facility that we will not only be able to use ourselves in order to develop our professional set-up but also facilities that we can make available to the community seven days a week.

“We have 12 acres at the Showgrounds, a magnificent resource, and it has always been our intention to sweat that asset for the good of the town and its people . . .”

With the recent development of its new Railway End stand completed without the need for any outside debt, Kelly says that the club is in a strong position to fund its share of the cost of these latest improvements and that, all going well, the entire project could well be complete within 12 months.

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