Warrenpoint Town FC ‘back home for Christmas’
Warrenpoint Town has been given a massive £225,250 plus vat cash injection in order to help the newest recruits to the Irish League Premiership continue its long term development plans.
The financial boost from Newry and Mourne Council was agreed on Monday night and received full cross party political support.
The money will be used to extensively revamp the club’s Milltown complex to fully meet both the Irish Football Association and Sport NI regulations.
At present Warrenpoint Town has to play its home matches more than 50 miles away at Dungannon Swifts Stangmore Park pitch.
If everything goes according to plan however the club will be eligible to play at its own ground by December. The original Council allocation was to have been £170,000.
But an amendment proposal from SDLP Councillor Connaire McGreevy to significantly increase the funding levels for Warrenpoint Town in view of the club’s contribution to sport in the area was passed.
McGreevy said he was delighted at the recognition of the important role that Warrenpoint Town had played for the wider community over many years. “But we need to have the team playing as soon as possible in front of their hometown supporters.
“The story of the club and its rise through the ranks of junior and intermediate football has been truly inspirational. It underlines that with the support of the community and with the necessary visionary leadership on and off the pitch dreams can become a reality.”
The redevelopment of the club grounds will include two new seated stands, a new terraced stand as well as a media centre. The project will also see new dugouts being built.
All of the new facilities will meet the criteria set down by UEFA in the event of the club eventually attaining European competition status.
“The massive social and economic benefits of having a senior football club in the Newry and Mourne area cannot be over emphasised,” McGreevy continued.
“As a Council we have a responsibility to invest in sport, at all levels and across all codes. The investment in Warrenpoint Town is part of a capital project and will be paid over 16 years with the Council retaining ultimate ownership of the grounds complex.
“The bonus for Warrenpoint Town is that is that the club will be able to get immediate access to other grant support and add value to the facilities.
The SDLP Councillor added, “The partnership between the Council and Warrenpoint Town is now on a very solid footing. The objective now is continue identifying additional income streams from across a wide range of sporting and government agencies.”
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