The design proposals prepared by award-winning RIBA accredited Farren Architects, seek to redevelop the existing grass surface pitch to provide new synthetic surface pitch with the installation of associated 1.2m spectator fencing, ball stops, pitch flooding, dugouts, replacement turnstiles and associated site works.
Portstewart currently compete in the NIFL Premier Intermediate League and have a growing youth academy of over 200 male and female members. The redevelopment proposals are fundamental to the continued growth of the community-based club both on and off the field.
The new synthetic playing surface will facilitate all year-round pitch activity and afford access to a much wider group of beneficiaries to include not only the clubs various teams but also local schools, wider sports teams and recreational footballers who wish to play 5-aside.
Portstewart Football and Community Club intend to seek funding support for the delivery of the development project with the support of the Department for Communities Sub Regional Stadia Fund. In 2015 the Northern Ireland Executive allocated £36m through the ‘New Decade, New Approach&’ which gave a commitment from the British and Irish governments and the Executive to transform public services and restore public confidence in devolved government.
DFC Minister Deirdre Hargey recently shared her continued commitment to ensuring this funding programme is rolled out within the term of her current ministerial mandate and before the 2022 Assembly elections.
Portstewart FC Chairman Freddie Mc Gowan commented: “We are delighted to have reached this key milestone associated with the submission of a planning application for our redevelopment plans. Our committee have been extremely proactive in developing an ambitious vision for the continued growth and progression of our community-based club.
“Safe and fit for purpose facilities are essential and by submitting this planning application we are a step closer to realising one of our key strategic priorities.”
Portstewart FC Vice Chairman David Bradley added: “We want to ensure that we are in a state of readiness to avail of the imminent Sub Regional capital development funding ringfenced for Northern Ireland football across all tiers from elite level down to grass roots. By developing our plans, we hope we can not only “win big” for our club, but also the wider community of Portstewart and indeed the borough of Causeway Coast and Glens, which has a confirmed under provision of suitable 3G pitch provision as identified by an audit conducted by Council in 2018.”
To date the clubs committee and directors have convened a series of councillor briefings on proposals as well as facilitating a positive community consultation event on emerging redevelopment proposals at the clubs’ pavilion.
Further information relating to the planning application can be viewed at https://epicpublic.planningni.gov.uk/publicaccess/ by searching under the planning reference number LA01/2021/1248/F, or by contacting the club on