Further endorsements of Masterplan following reveal

Mayor of Sligo, Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady has welcomed the publishing of the Sligo Rovers Masterplan today.

The initial announcement was made early this morning.

Click here to download the Masterplan

Mayor O’Grady added: “I would like to congratulate the Management Committee of Sligo Rovers on the launch of their MasterPlan for the Showgrounds

“The outstanding progress Sligo Rovers are making on and off the field this year is a great source of pride for the club’s supporters and the wider community.

“Over recent years the Showgrounds has been transformed into one of the finest league venues in the country, and the new Masterplan brings this ambition to a new level.

“We have an exciting journey ahead of us: The prospect of European football, the very positive start to the 2021 league campaign, and the roll out of the initial phases of this outstanding Masterplan

“The Showgrounds has been at the heart of our community for generations, and the vision outlined in this Plan will secure this wonderful facility for generations to come.”

FAI League of Ireland director Mark Scanlon has also commented: “Sligo Rovers have long been one of the great clubs in the history of League of Ireland football and the passion and commitment which their players show on the pitch has always been matched by their supporters and stakeholders off it.

“This development plan carries on the great community involvement tradition at Sligo Rovers and will, I am sure, act as a prototype for clubs across the country. I look forward to seeing come to fruition in the coming years. Congratulations to all concerned.”

Rovers chairman Higgins continued: “I’m thankful to both Sligo County Council and the FAI for the assistance as the masterplan was conducted, as well as the sub-committee here in The Showgrounds and the fantastic team at Rhaitgan Architects.

“We have known our short-term and long-term targets at Sligo Rovers for quite some time. Today we have all of those aspirations contained in the Masterplan.

“We hope our own supporters and anyone connected to sport and the community here in Sligo shares the excitement and desire that we have today. It is our intention to bring all of the elements of the Masterplan to fruition.”

Rory Raftery, member of the Executive Committee of Sligo Rugby Club, has spoken warmly on his sport coming to the home of football in Sligo, which is referenced in the Masterplan: “On behalf of Sligo Rugby Club we would like to very much express our continued interest in the use of the facilities in The Showgrounds for the sport of rugby.

“While we have developed our own playing facilities at Hamilton Park, Strandhill, we are somewhat limited in terms of the size of the venue to attract considerable viewing numbers. We have previously explored the possibility of hosting a Connacht senior provincial game at The Showgrounds and we continue to do so moving forward. Not just a senior provincial game but there is considerable potential for a Connacht Junior game, ladies game, underage finals, Sligo RFC Connacht senior cup final game or even an All-Ireland League Bateman Cup semi-final/final, perhaps even an IRFU Ireland U20’s fixture, following the success of the FAI Under-21 games held at The Showgrounds.

“To this end, we lend our full support to the development of the Showgrounds with a potential use of the ground at some point in the future for rugby. We are very thankful to Sligo Rovers for reaching out to Sligo RFC to explore the potential use of the ground as and for the very welcoming and inclusive manner in which this has happened.”

Last year Sligo Rovers appointed a five-person committee to engage with Rhatigan Architects as they undertook a host of supporter and community studies.

The committee included Tommy Higgins, Mark Cummins and Roddy Murphy of the Sligo Rovers Management Committee, Gerard O’Connor of the Bit O’ Red Supporters Trust and Ivor Parke, former committee member during our 2012 league-winning season and long-time volunteer.

Rhatigan Architects is a design-driven practice, specialising in community, workspace, residential, heathcare and education buildings. With over 80 years in practice, their team of 22, led by three directors, provides quality design and delivers robust buildings for all of our clients. They deliver beautiful, efficient, sustainable buildings and settings, emphasising daylight, natural ventilation, renewable energy and materials.

Rhatigan Architects were delighted to be given the opportunity to work in conjunction with Sligo Rovers on the development of the Masterplan for the Showgrounds.

Director Gavin Phelan notes “We recognise that Sligo Rovers football club is an important part of the DNA of Sligo Town and see this landmark development as a means of enhancing this social connection with the people of Sligo. The proposed designs strive to achieve the highest standards for supporters and team alike – adding to the atmosphere and overall experience on matchdays, whilst also developing the grounds in a manner which enhances community facilities locally.

“One of the key aims of the project has been, in conjunction with the upgrade of the stadium and pitch facilities to a contemporary 6,000 seat capacity arena, to develop stronger relationships with community – which shall be achieved with the development of the new public plaza at the entrance to the site.”

A sub-committee will now be appointed by the Sligo Rovers Management Committee to bring forward the Masterplan. Further updates will be issued in due course.