Windsor Park redevelopment plan welcomed

LINFIELD Chairman Jim Kerr has said the club is delighted to see plans for the redevelopment of Windsor Pakr get the go-ahead.

The Irish FA received a Letter of Offer from DCAL this week to allow the Association to begin the first stage of the Windsor Park redevelopment project.

The Irish FA has been working closely with DCAL, SportNI and Linfield Football Club regarding the stadium project and the Association acknowledges the great work involved to date from all the partners.

Irish FA President, Jim Shaw said: “It is great to finally get the go-ahead from DCAL for our plans for the redevelopment of Windsor Park. This is a great step forward for football in Northern Ireland. We have a long way to go and a lot of hard work ahead of us before Windsor Park is complete, but this is a major step in the process and we are delighted that we have been given the green light.”

Sports Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín said: “Taken together the three stadium projects make up one of the largest construction programmes being taken forward by the Executive in the coming years. The IFA will receive £25.2m to redevelop Windsor Park to raise the capacity to 18,000. I welcome the news that the IFA have reached this important milestone.”

Linfield FC Chairman Jim Kerr said: “We are delighted to be part of this major step forward for football and really excited at the prospect of both Linfield and Northern Ireland teams fans getting the stadium they deserve. We have worked very hard to ensure that the structure and management of the new ground is fair and equitable to all parties and, having signed the legal agreement, we look forward to working with our partners in the coming months and years.”

The Irish FA is also delighted to announce that contract negotiations between the Association and Linfield Football Club have concluded and that the contract has now been signed by both parties.

Following the appointment of a Planning Consultant, the next stage of the Windsor Park redevelopment project will involve the appointment of an Integrated Consultant Team (Designers). The Integrated Consultant Team will develop the works information and the design of the new stadium and will work in co-operation with the Planning Consultant to lodge the planning application in December 2012.

Also, during the period of developing the works information and during the planning application period the Integrated Consultant Team will procure the Integrated Supply Team (Design and Build Contractor) who when appointed in July 2013 will develop the final design of the stadium and build the two new stands and refurbish the two existing stands.

It is proposed that the phased construction works will commence in August 2013:

· Completion of East Stand

· Demolition Works - South Stand

· Completion of South Stand

· Renovation works to North Stand

· Renovation works to West Stand

· Completion of the Stadium Project

The exact dates for the phased construction works will be confirmed by the Integrated Supply Team; however the Irish FA is anticipating the final completion of all construction works in summer 2015.