Causeway Chronicle

Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP visits Coleraine Football Club

Alderman Aaron Callan, Councilllr Niamh Archibald, Hilary Benn MP, Colin McKendry, Chairman; Councillor Bill Kennedy, Councillor Tanya Stirling and Councillor Richard Stewart during Monday’s visit to the Showgrounds.

Coleraine Football Club Chairman Colin McKendry and the Development Committee of Coleraine Football Club were honoured to host the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell at The Showgrounds on Monday, February 12, 2024.

The visit was a significant occasion attended by public representatives, demonstrating cross-party support for Coleraine Football Club and its ambitious development plans. The discussions centred around the club’s strategic vision and the potential positive impacts on both the local community and the broader region.

Colin McKendry, Chairman of Coleraine Football Club, emphasised the importance of stakeholder consultation and highlighted the unique opportunity presented by the redevelopment of The Showgrounds. He stated, “Despite funding uncertainties, the club has drafted a strategic plan focusing on modernising facilities and catalysing positive economic and social impacts in Coleraine and the wider region.”

David Boyd, Chairman of the Development Committee, highlighted the broad cross-party support garnered by the club’s proposal within the politically divided landscape of the area. He noted that the club has already secured and invested £1.2 million in facility improvements, but emphasised the need for additional funding, especially for major projects like stadium improvements and infrastructure upgrades.

The Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was briefed on the club’s efforts to secure equitable funding allocation, emphasising the tangible benefits of The Showgrounds redevelopment in revitalising the club, fostering economic regeneration, and combating antisocial behaviour.

Founded in 1927, Coleraine Football Club operates from The Showgrounds, owned by the North Derry Agricultural Society. The club, owned by its supporters, shares space with a community-based organisation. As the club approaches its centenary, it aims for a sustainable “net-zero carbon” redevelopment, aligning with modern environmental standards.

The visit of the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP marks an important step in Coleraine Football Club’s journey towards realizing its vision for sustainable growth and community impact. For media inquiries, please contact: Bobby Farren, Bid Manager, bobby.farren@colerainefc.com

Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle