Sligo Rovers secure LEADER funding for masterplan

Sligo Rovers can announce a successful application for LEADER Programme funding to prepare a masterplan to assess all aspects of the football club and infrastructural development.

The application process began last year, with the club receiving confirmation of its success recently.

Sligo Rovers have since began a tender process to create the masterplan – which will be of multiple cost of the strategic plan created in 2017 and a result significantly more detailed.        

A total of 12 applications were received, with Rhatigan Architects winning the tender based on specifications required and set out.

Rhatigan Architects have experience of developing a number of masterplans for the likes of IT Sligo, Ballyhaise Agriculture College, as well as developing dedicated sports facilities such as Sligo racecourse.

The masterplan will examine the external environment for the football club, such as economic conditions in the country and Irish football.

Internally, footballing performance and structures, underage structures, quality and extend of promotional campaigns of the club and reach of community, with potential growth areas, will also be examined.

Infrastructural development based on a benefit to the community of Sligo and the west of Ireland will be a key component of the masterplan.

The grant will cover a substantial part of the cost of the masterplan, with the club set to use the upcoming Annual Draw for part of the rest of the cost.

Sligo Rovers chairman Tommy Higgins said: “We are delighted to secure the LEADER Programme funding for this project which is vital for the future of the football club. The funding will allow for creation for a thorough and detailed masterplan

“The masterplan will allow us to create a vision for the football club based on the use of The Showgrounds as a facility and a footballing philosophy to capitalise on the enormous potential of our academy, our brand name and the legacy of the remarkable story of Sligo Rovers. It will also assess the day-to-day running of the club and the improvements that can be made.

“As a supporter and now chairman, I have seen the growth of the football club over the last decade. We have a fan-owned club with a focus on community that will stay as such, and we believe it is the time to take the club to a higher level and bring further benefits to our region.

“This masterplan will guide that vision. Over the coming months Rhatigan Architects will engage with various stakeholders and a sub-committee for the project is being finalised.

“We are informing our supporters and the wider public of being successful in the application and that such work will be ongoing over the coming months. I’d like to thank LEADER and all that tendered for the project, as well as Sligo County Council for their ongoing support of the football club and their desire to see us further flourish as a vital part of the community.”