Galway charity celebrates 20th anniversary with Social Enterprise of the Year award – Connacht Tribune – Galway City Tribune:

Connacht have confirmed that work on the Sportsground’s €30m redevelopment project will begin this summer, with the first phase involving digging up the existing main grass pitch and replacing it with an artificial surface.

This first phase of work, which will start as soon as the current club rugby season ends in June, will also involve the installation of new floodlights: the aim is for this first phase of work to be completed in time for the start of the 2022 season. /23 season, which should be September.

“We are looking forward to starting work in the summer, starting with the installation of the artificial pitch and the additional lighting.

“It’s the first step and also a major step – finishing this pitch and getting it ready for the start of the new season means we can continue training at the Sportsground while the gymnasium is knocked down and the back pitch is dug up. a Connacht Rugby spokesperson told City Sport this week.

Plans for a massive refurbishment of the Sportsground, which would see capacity increase to 12,000 spectators, were first announced three years ago and at the time it was said the development could cost around 30 million euros.

Full planning permission for the development was granted in May 2019, and in January 2020 the government announced a total of €20 million for the Connacht Rugby sports ground redevelopment project.

There was an initial allocation of €10 million under the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure (LSSIF), which was well below what was hoped for – and needed – but this was then matched almost immediately an additional commitment of 10 million euros which was announced by the government at the time. Chief Whip and Galway West TD at the time, Sean Kyne.

Speaking at the time, Connacht said the redevelopment plan was made possible following an agreement reached between the Irish Greyhound Board and the Sportsground’s freehold owners, the Galway Agricultural and Sports Society.

“The arrangement with the Irish Greyhound Board will ensure that rugby matches and greyhound racing will continue to be held at the site.”

Over the Christmas period there were local rumors that a third sport could be featured at the redeveloped ground as there were suggestions that Galway United had entered into talks with the move into the sports ground renovated, possibly as early as the start of the 2023 season in February. 12 months.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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