New 3G pitch for Amphitheatre Leisure Centre in Carrickfergus

A £250,000 investment in a new 3G pitch in Carrickfergus has been approved by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
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The 3G facility will replace the existing astro turf pitch at the Amphitheatre Leisure Centre.

Work on the new facility is expected to be progressed before the end of next March.

The development has been welcomed by Carrickfergus Castle DUP Councillor Cheryl Brownlee who has been lobbying the council to identify funds for the project after a funding bid to the Irish Football Association (IFA) was unsuccessful.

Amphitheatre, Carrickfergus. Picture: Local Democracy Reporting ServiceAmphitheatre, Carrickfergus. Picture: Local Democracy Reporting Service
Amphitheatre, Carrickfergus. Picture: Local Democracy Reporting Service

Commenting on social media, Cllr Brownlee said: ”I have continued to lobby council, working with the director of operations, to identify funds to deliver this much demanded project.

“I am delighted to announce that this has now been passed with a £250,000 investment to transform the astro to 3G with work to be progressed before the end of March 2024.”

In a further statement, Cllr Brownlee said: “The significant investment will see the transformation of the current astro turf pitch at Carrickfergus Amphitheatre upgraded to a new 3G pitch which will allow increased match and training capacity, provide an all-weather surface, and ultimately benefit the local clubs, schools, and community groups in the area.

“This will allow our sporting clubs and groups, who are at the heart of our communities, to continue to thrive whilst offering up more opportunities for future generations to become involved in sport.”

Mid and East Antrim councillors have supported a motion for a review of sports pitches in the borough to identify areas of need and target funding towards expansion.

In June, a new multi-use games area (MUGA) in Portglenone was approved by the council’s Planning Committee.

The new pitch will be located at Portglenone Marina, Gortgole Road, by the local authority.

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It will consist of a multi-use games area with boundary fencing and floodlights and would be suitable for seven-a-side football and a variety of sports.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published a report last year analysing pitch provision across Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland which showed that Mid and East Antrim had “a deficit of 72,032 hours of unmet demand and predicts that deficit could grow by more than 50% by 2030”.