Second funding request approved for new pitch bid by Ballyclare Comrades

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has agreed to increase financial support for Ballyclare Comrades Football Club which is seeking to establish a new £0.5m pitch at Dixon Park in the town.
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In May, the council approved funding of £100k to support an application to the Irish Football Association for the development of a 3G pitch, if it is successful.

Ballyclare Comrades requested financial support from the council further to an application to the IFA’s Multi-sport Grassroots Facilities Investment Fund 2023-25 to replace the existing grass playing surface with 3G material.

At a meeting of the borough council last month, councillors approved a request by the club for an additional sum of £32,000 to cover “inflationary costs” subject to the IFA application being successful.

Dixon Park, home of Ballyclare Comrades. Photo by GoogleDixon Park, home of Ballyclare Comrades. Photo by Google
Dixon Park, home of Ballyclare Comrades. Photo by Google

A spokesperson for Ballyclare Comrades FC said previously: “We see this project as an important part in the regeneration of Ballyclare town centre and will bring substantial additional footfall to the town. ”

A report to councillors says the development of 3G pitch facilities in Ballyclare would assist with meeting the demand highlighted in council’s recently approved pitch strategy.

The local authority has already approved the development of a 3G pitch at Ballyclare Rugby Football Club as part of the £3m Cloughan Project.

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The project was supported through Sport NI’s Multi-Facility Fund with completion estimated in early 2025.

The Cloughan Project would see facilities at the club upgraded as well as creating new sports provision at the Doagh Road venue. These would include an artificial hockey pitch, a walking/running trail and a gym with specialist Disability Sport NI approved equipment.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter