The new Donegal Community Stadium has been given the official green light.
The government has today approved that the €5.5million project can move forward with construction.
Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media, Jack Chambers TD gave the approval, with €3,991,000 funding to come from his Department.
The decision paves the way for contractors Joseph Mc Menamin and Sons to begin working on the new-look modular stadium for Finn Harps FC which will have a capacity of 6,130, with all areas covered.
Local Councillor Patrick McGowan said it’s a good day for the area.
The catalyst for the approval, Cllr McGowan said, was Donegal County Council’s offer of €500,000 to help plug the funding gap for the development. The offer was backed by all elected members at a meeting in mid-July.
The FAI and Finn Harps FC have each proposed €500,000 allocations to make up the deficit.
Cllr McGowan said: “The Department allocation was conditional on match-funding and the Minister, 30 minutes ago, signed it off.
“I’m told it will be a matter of weeks and months until the contractors are on site.
“This is a long time coming, it’s about 10 years ago since Pat The Cope Gallagher first turned the sod on the stadium and work did start but unfortunately the recession killed the project.
“The show is back on again. I would like to thank Minister Chambers and Minister Charlie McConalogue for their work on this,” Cllr McGowan said.
The Donegal Community Stadium will form a major part of the broader Sports Centre of Excellence which already has an adjacent athletics track, pitches and leisure centre with swimming pool. The Council is also in the process of developing a Multi-Use All Weather Playing Facility adjacent to the Finn Valley complex and the Donegal Community Stadium.