WORK has commenced on a new grass pitch in Artigarvan, council has confirmed.
Subject to weather, council says the project – which is estimated to cost over £450,000 – will be completed by spring next year however it will be a further 12 months before the pitch can be used.
The project is a welcome boost to Artigarvan Football Club who have long lobbied for an upgrade to their pitch on Art Road.
Confirming work is now underway, a spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) said: “Work has now commenced on site at Artigarvan playing pitch.
“The construction of the new grass pitch work is expected to be completed by late spring 2020, subject to weather.
“The grass pitch will then be subject to a minimum 12 month establishment period during which it will not be possible to use the pitch.
“In addition to the new grass pitch, council will also be erecting new boundary fencing, ball catch nets and installing a changing pavilion as part of the same contract.”
The spokesperson added: “Council continues to be committed to improving pitch provision throughout the council area as part of its wider play pitch strategy.”
DUP Alderman Maurice Devenney who represents the Sperrin District Electoral Area (DEA) on council has welcomed the investment.
Both he and party colleague Allan Bresland have been pushing for an upgrade to the pitch.
Speaking this week, councillor Devenney said: “This is a good news story particularly for Artigarvan Football Club who have been calling for an upgrade to their pitch for many, many years to allow them to play their home games.
“I very much welcome the beginning of this project which myself and Allan Bresland have been working very closely with the club on and I looked forward to its completion in 2020.
“It’s a £400,000 project and it’s good to see council investing in rural recreational facilities, particularly in areas like Artigarvan where this work is really needed.
“It will include the relaying of the pitch as well as new changing facilities which will allow the club to grow.”
He added that work on new changing facilities beside the council-owned Multi Games Use Area (MUGA) in Donemana is also expected to begin this month.