Council Welcomes Development of Ballymacash Sports Academy
July 11, 2018
Rushmore Playing Fields has for many years been the home of Ballymacash Rangers FC. Over recent years the Club has worked with groups across North Lisburn to provide a community hub in the area, and through the new Sports Academy will use the Rushmore site to further develop facilities.
Alderman Paul Porter, Chairman of the Council’s Leisure & Community Development Committee, speaking about the development, said: “The Council is delighted to see the work being taken forward through Ballymacash Sports Academy, which is a growing organisation, with expansion plans in mind; to be delivered over several phases.
“Ballymacash Rangers has worked with local partners including schools and the PSNI to build the capacity of its facilities. To cater for the growing community it is home to pool teams, dart teams and football teams who use the current facilities six out of seven nights each week. Through the Sports Academy Phase 1 of the plans have recently received planning permission and will involve a 3G multi-use games area, which will increase its capacity at the facility all year round.
“The plan for Phase 2 is a new building that will allow the Club to increase its capacity and sustain its growth for many years to come. The architectural plans are currently in progress for this state-of-the-art building. There is a real desire across the local community for this new facility to be built; and the Council wishes the Club through the Academy every success as it progresses it plans.”
Phase 2 will allow the Club to modernise its facilities to include female changing rooms and comply with disability legislation. This will meet both community need and the targets within their five year sport development plan.
Alderman William Leathem, Chairman of the Council’s Development Committee added: “Ballymacash Rangers in recent times has become a social enterprise to raise funds to develop a Ballymacash Sports Academy. This new community co-operative has been set-up to help them build a permanent, modern, brick building to replace the current timber frame temporary portacabins along with the provision of additional playing and training facilities. It is a good example of how a community can work together for the betterment of all.
“To date there has been significant time and energy invested by volunteers to maximise the existing club assets. The plans by this club to expand its facilities will ensure increased income due to additional revenue from pitch and facility rental, the social club and the community gym.
“The new building, when planning permission is received, will be owned by the community and any profits will be regenerated back into the facility to expand it further for the benefit of all the local community; and I would like to thank all those involved for their efforts to date,” said Alderman Leathem.
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