Funding Application Lodged For Masterplan Project

Sligo Rovers has formally submitted its application for funding under the Government’s Large Scale Sport in Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) for the redevelopment of the Showgrounds.

Multi-sport stadium
The Sligo Showgrounds Masterplan provides for a new multi-sport stadium in the lead up to the Club’s centenary in 2028. If the application is successful, the Showgrounds will be the first UEFA Category 3 Stadium outside Dublin, and as well as hosting our own major fixtures, it can be a prime venue for other clubs’ European games. With a capacity of 6,100, stadium facilities will include new grass based hybrid pitch, which will accommodate other sports and activities, new stands on the Church Hill and Jinks’ Avenue ends, upgrades to the Treacy Avenue and Railway end stands, (including roofing the latter), hospitality areas, fan zones, meeting rooms, gymnasium, club merchandise shop, media area and a new club museum. The stadium will also meet the requirements for modern TV broadcasts. Our objective is not just to improve the sporting facilities, we also want our fans, and visitors, to have the best Showgrounds experience possible.

Sligo Rovers Chairman Tommy Higgins said ‘Today sees the culmination of two years of intensive work to prepare this detailed application. Within our own community, our local authority, local TD’s and nationally with the FAI and Senior Government Ministers, we have experienced nothing but cooperation and encouragement, and for this we are very grateful. It feels a bit strange to be getting this major application over the line without the presence of our colleague Tommie Gorman, who worked tremendously hard on this project, his energy and the respect in which he is held at the highest levels opened so many doors for us. Due to his efforts, we were able to present detailed briefings in the Showgrounds to Taoiseach Simon Harris, Tanaiste Micheal Martin, Ministers Catherine Martin, Heather Humphreys, Jack Chambers and Thomas Byrne and local Sligo/Leitrim TD Frank Feighan. Other very significant contributors were Sligo County Council’s Chief Executive, Martin Lydon and Director of Services Dorothy Clarke..

Sligo Rovers Development Officer Mark Cummins acknowledged the contribution of the many individuals and agencies involved in the project. ‘We had an exceptional support team in place at every stage of the very detailed application process, Design Team lead Gavin Phelan of Rhatigans Architects, Enda Candon of First Western Consultants, the legal teams, and within the Club, Shona Heffernan, Jamie Murphy and David Kearins. Tom Kelly on our Project Team coordinated all the various elements of the detailed submission with great professionalism’. We have an excellent working relationship with Chair Albert Higgins and the Showgrounds Trustee Board. They have a hugely important remit in preserving the Showgrounds as a sporting and community facility, and they shared our conviction that this development will be a major boost for the Club and the people of Sligo.’

Sligo Rovers Secretary Brendan Lacken acknowledged the support of the FAI and Special Olympics Ireland, who committed their support for the project by awarding it a priority ranking within their respective strategies for the development of their sports. It also enhanced our application to receive letters of support from the two organisations, along with Cairn National Community Games, Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership, Sligo Business Improvement District (BID) and Sligo Volunteer Centre.

We are also pleased to confirm that a number of local community organisations have entered into licence agreements with the club to use the new facilities in the Showgounds when they are completed: Sligo Schoolboys and Girls League, Sligo Leitrim and District Soccer League, ATU Sligo, Ballinode College, Mercy College, Sligo Grammar School, Summerhill College, Ursuline College, Sligo Community Games, Sligo Rugby Club and Sligo Sports and Recreation Partnership . We greatly welcome their interest in being part of our new era.’

Reflecting on the traumatic week for the Sligo Rovers family, Tommy Higgins said ‘If this funding application is successful, our development will be a fitting legacy to the tireless work of Tommie Gorman on behalf of his beloved Rovers, not just on this project, but throughout his lifetime,’