WESTPORT United are pressing ahead with the development of their new state-of-the-art home, after it was confirmed last week that planning permission for the 13.5 acre site has been granted by Westport Town Council. Subject to conditions which relate mainly to aesthetics and traffic and do not materially alter the plan, the building phase on the site should get under way next spring
The next big step for the club now is waiting to see if they will be successful in their application for capital funding from the Department of Sport. This is due in early November and the club will then have six months within which to commence work on the development. Meanwhile, local fundraising efforts being spearheaded by a separate finance committee are continuing unabated.
Over 260 people have now signed up to make weekly contributions to the club, but more voluntary subscriptions are still needed, says Chairman of the development committee, Kevin Cusack, and work on raising this figure to 300 people is ongoing.
“This is great news for the committee, the club and for Westport,” he said. “With planning permission secured we can actually start to move on the development, and with the plans now able to come off the drawing board, and when people see the works commence and progress, they will realise the extent and significance of this project.”
Designed by local architect Michael Horan of AXO Architects, the plan for the site, which is on the grounds of Westport House at The Demense/Golf Course Road, incorporates two international standard soccer pitches (110 meters long by 64 meters wide), one pitch up to Mayo/Connacht League standard (93 meters long by 53 meters wide) a large all-weather (astroturf) facility, a training area, a smaller pitch specifically for their U-8, U-10 and U-12 teams, a clubhouse and spectator stand with a 1,000 person capacity, six changing rooms, fitness/training room, merchandise room, referees rooms, a committee room, storage areas and other facilities along with a bus parking and turning area and car spaces for 100 vehicles.
The project will be implemented in stages, and while no final estimate on the cost is available, phase one (purchase of the land and development of two international standard soccer pitches and some changing rooms) will cost in the region of €850,000.
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