Government has allocated Connacht Rugby €10 million in funding under the Large-Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund.

The funding will provide for a third of the Sportsground redevelopment fund which is projected in the region of €30m and will have a capacity of 12,000 spectators.

It is intended that the development will be funded through a combination of public funds, most notably this Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund, and private funding.

The redevelopment will deliver a modern rugby stadium to the Western province, in addition to a new high-performance training centre for Connacht Rugby, while also retaining existing greyhound racing facilities.

The redevelopment was made possible following an arrangement reached between the Irish Greyhound Board and the freehold owners of the Sportsground, the Galway Agricultural and Sports Society, with respect to a shared vision for the future of the Sportsground.

The arrangement with the Irish Greyhound Board will ensure that rugby fixtures and greyhound racing events will continue to be staged at the venue.

The multi-use facility will also be made available for the hosting of other sporting fixtures and events where such demand arises.

The strategic benefits of the project to the entire region are also closely aligned with the Government’s National Planning Framework, Project Ireland 2040 as well as the National Sports Policy, all of which highlight the need for a regional spread of capital investment throughout the country.

Fine Gael TD for Galway West Hildegarde Naughton welcomed the announcement of funds saying that 'Connacht Rugby employs 130 people itself, making it a sizeable employer. But the economic spin-off is huge, and the team’s future success on the field will be shared by businesses and individuals throughout the area,'

She continued to say that 'Today’s announcement that the redevelopment of the Sportsground can proceed is a key part of that future success, making this an extremely exciting time for us fans and other potential beneficiaries in the region.”

The announcement of the Government funding follows a rigorous process to identify the optimum location, composition and design of the proposed stadium, along with a detailed independent cost-benefit analysis.

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