Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has agreed the Lisanally area as its preferred location to deliver an exciting vision for shared sport and leisure facilities in the heart of Armagh City to provide a new era of better health and wellbeing for the wider community.
As part of its commitment to support a new five-year Armagh Leisure Village project at the Lisanally site, it has earmarked £30 million to be included in the Council’s capital programme. The decision was made at a full council meeting on Monday 26 February 2018.
The Lisanally site will accommodate an enhanced range of shared indoor and outdoor facilities, including a ten-lane, 25-metre swimming pool, sports halls, studio, fitness suite and thermal spa. It will also incorporate an ultra-modern multi-sports indoor arena and new specialist strength and conditioning facility.
Outdoor facilities include an oversized floodlit artificial multi-sports pitch, as well as four natural turf multi-sports pitches, two of which will be floodlit. A hockey pitch and athletics track will also form part of the development.
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Gareth Wilson, said:
“Now that Lisanally has been identified as the preferred strategic location to deliver this innovative and exciting sport and leisure project, I’m confident that it will close a significant gap between existing and future sport and leisure needs and bring much greater benefits for our clubs, community and schools.
“I’m delighted this commitment now puts the project in delivery mode that will maximise opportunities for shared indoor and outdoor modern facilities which will have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing for everyone and generations to come.”
A consultation exercise already carried out with the wider public and including sporting organisations, clubs and schools pinpointed a need to replace the ageing Orchard Leisure Centre as well as providing an enlarged facility with much greater car parking provision, more water provision, fitness space and increased shared facilities for a range of users and sports.
Chair of the Armagh Leisure Project Board, Councillor Thomas O’Hanlon, said:
“As chair of the project board I would like to thank the councillors, our stakeholders and officers for the work that has been completed to date.
“Considerable consultation, assessment and investigation has already been undertaken to ensure this major development strategically meets a range of important objectives and location criteria.”
“This exciting new development will regenerate a significant part of Armagh City and bring wider investment to the area and we look forward to further continuing our engagement with stakeholders.”
With a preferred location now agreed to progress the project, it is envisaged that the new facilities could open in 2023.