Durkan: Hargey must explore every option to provide stadium funding

mark h durkan Stadium funding NDNA

SDLP Communities Spokesperson Mark H Durkan has urged Minister Deidre Hargey to explore every option available to deliver the Sub-Regional Stadia Programme for Soccer.

Minister Hargey told the Assembly on Monday she could not deliver the £36m investment in the absence of Executive approval.

Mr Durkan said in the absence of an Executive, other Ministers were exploring ways to progress important projects and Minister Hargey should do the same.

Foyle MLA Mr Durkan said:

“In the absence of an Executive we are seeing efforts from other Ministers to progress important projects and this stadium funding programme should be no different. Health Minister Robin Swann has secured agreement to lift Covid-19 restrictions with the backing of all parties and Minister Hargey should similarly leave no stone unturned to deliver this money to our football clubs.

“This programme is a flagship Executive project and was included in the New Decade, New Approach agreement, it cannot simply be tossed aside and left for some future Executive to revive. Given the political uncertainty we must use every minute that remains of the current Assembly mandate to deliver important projects for our communities.

“This is not an issue that has cropped up in the last few weeks or months, this investment was first discussed in 2011 and funding allocated in 2015. Our clubs and their fans have been waiting for this funding for over a decade, they have been left in limbo unable to proceed with much needed improvement and safety works. I’d urge Minister Hargey to ask the other Ministers, including her party colleague the Finance Minister Conor Murphy for backing to issue this funding.”

 

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