An aerial image of the site, the red line marks the boundary for the new leisure village site. Image courtesy of ABC council/Ken Geary.
THE site for the new £30m Armagh Leisure Village has been chosen by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
Lisanally has been selected as the location for the five-year project, which will boast a 10-lane 25m swimming pool, a range of indoor and outdoor facilities, sports halls and a multi-function pitch, that is expected to be completed by 2023.
The location was formally agreed at the latest full council meeting held last week, and Lord Mayor, Alderman Gareth Wilson said the scheme had now entered its “delivery mode” phase. “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,” he explained.
“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.”
The project, which has been earmarked £30m of the council’s capital programme funds, will also see the introduction of four natural turf multi-sports pitches, two of which will be floodlit, a hockey pitch and athletics track – along with a fitness suite, thermal spa and indoor sports arena.
As part of the process, council engaged with sporting organisations, clubs and schools as part of a consultation exercise, which highlighted a need to replace Orchard Leisure Centre as well as providing an enlarged facility with much greater car parking provision, fitness space and increased shared facilities for a range of users and sports.
This was emphasised by chair of the Armagh Leisure Project Board, Councillor Thomas O’Hanlon, who has thanked councillors, stakeholders and officers for the work carried out on the project 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,” he explained.
“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.”