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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Northern Ireland grassroots sports projects to receive nearly £6 million in funding

Representatives from Wellington Rec FC in Larne

Representatives from Wellington Rec FC in Larne


As part of the continued drive to get more people active, the UK Government and the Irish FA have kicked off the year by announcing 17 projects across Northern Ireland are benefitting from a share of £2 million.


Exercising more is the most common New Year’s resolution, and the UK Government is giving hundreds of thousands more people across the UK the ability to keep their resolution and get active by delivering high-quality grassroots facilities.



From Coleraine to Newry, 17 projects will receive funding for state of the art 3G artificial grass pitches and brand new floodlights. Work is already underway on 14 of these projects, with the further three to commence imminently.


The projects being announced today will benefit from £2 million from the UK Government in 2023/24, with next year’s budget of £3.66 million already allocated too. 



Among the projects announced today, Saturday 27th January, are:


Ballyclare Comrades Football Club

£396,093 for a new artificial grass pitch. fencing and gates at Dixon Park.


Work already underway at Dixon Park

Work already underway at Dixon Park

Work already underway at Dixon Park

Coleraine Football Club

£400,000 for a new artificial grass pitch, fencing, gates, dugouts, and goalposts at Coleraine Showgrounds.


Wellington Recreation Sports and Social Club

£400,000 for a new artificial grass pitch, new floodlights, fencing, gates, and improved access at Brookvale Park in Larne


Crusaders Football Club

£400,000 for a new artificial grass pitch, new floodlights, fencing, gates, dugout and goalposts at Loughside Recreation Centre.



Full list of recipients at bottom.


Coleraine Football Club - Coleraine Showgrounds

Coleraine Football Club - Coleraine Showgrounds


Since 2021 the UK Government has used £1.3 million of funding to deliver 54 projects across Northern Ireland, with at least 50 per cent of investment to be spent in the most deprived and inactive local authorities.


UK Government Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said:


"Sport and physical activity is vital to our mental health and wellbeing, and each year thousands of people make a New Year’s resolution to exercise more.


"We know that one of the major barriers in getting active is access to high-quality sports facilities, which is why we are delivering 17 new projects across Northern Ireland. 


"The UK Government and Irish FA have already delivered over 50 projects backed by £1.3 million to give local communities the high quality facilities they need.” 



Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris said: 


"Communities across Northern Ireland will have more spaces to come together, get fit and have fun thanks to this fantastic UK Government initiative.


"Access to high quality sports facilities boosts mental and physical health, and this scheme is sure to have a significant positive impact."



 Irish FA CEO Patrick Nelson said:


"Good grassroots football facilities means a better experience for everyone participating in the game, at whatever level they’re at.


"This funding will provide 11 new artificial grass pitches and upgrade six existing pitches across Northern Ireland. It aligns with our commitment to support new and improved facilities and, with the hosting of the UEFA EURO 2028 in the UK and Ireland, it is crucial that the grassroots game across the nation benefits from investment too.” 


This funding in Northern Ireland will deliver 17 artificial grass pitch projects, and 12 sets of floodlights. Some of these projects have been awarded funding over a two year period. 

List of recipients for UK Government Grassroots Sports funding in Northern Ireland

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