Taoiseach Micheál Martin today presented a MASTER PLAN for the future of Irish sport, which will see the gradual development of “world-class facilities” at Sports Campus Ireland.
However, neither Sport Ireland nor the Sports Department detailed any overall figures for the project, which will take up to 20 years to complete: the first phase will cost up to €60m.
Instead, Sport Ireland’s master plan funding will be delivered annually through sporting capital and budget funding, which can present long-term planning difficulties, as Cricket Ireland has recently experienced.
The organization, which recently participated alongside the world’s 12 best countries in the T20 World Cup in Australia, is eagerly awaiting construction work on a new stadium to begin next year.
However, the project that is listed in the long-term plan in Sport Ireland’s plan is unlikely to receive planning permission or financing green lights in the foreseeable future, although it must be confirmed next year to co-host the event. . World Cup 2030 with England.
While future plans for the Campus project include designated space for a cricket stadium, Sport Ireland gave no details on the timing of the project.
The truth is that cycling and badminton will be the first to benefit from the construction of a velodrome and tracks starting next year at a cost of 55-60 million euros.
Much-needed accommodation for up to 180 athletes at any one time is also set for immediate development.
Other planned facilities include an innovation center and Irish sports museum within the vast Abbotstown, West Dublin site in Blanchardstown.
Already home to a host of sports, including football, GAA and rugby training facilities, along with the national aquatics center and indoor stadium, a project for the campus will be completed gradually, taking between 15 and 20 years. .
Along with the development of the Velodrome and Badminton Centre, immediate development will see the redevelopment of Abbotstown House, which will provide the central focus of NGB’s accommodation and office facilities in a ‘village’ layout.
The delivery of future centers and office facilities on the site “will collectively progress through design and planning to construction following the completion of the first phase of the Master Plan.”
The accommodation core, essential for the training of athletes, will have 120 short-stay places and 60 long-stay places, as well as conference rooms and other work areas.
Additional, but not yet specified, sports facilities to be developed on the site will include performance facilities, infrastructure, landscaping projects and community facilities.
Speaking at the launch, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the project to date, and its future development, “have been funded by significant government spending (which) the Government is committed to supporting.”
“Campus Sport Ireland is already an invaluable asset as part of the country’s sports infrastructure and the developments set out herein will enhance what are already world-class facilities,” the Taoiseach said.
“We are aware of all the benefits that participation in sport at any level brings to individuals and communities.”
Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, former Minister of Sports, was also present at the presentation of the project which, he said, “would guarantee that the campus is a space for all ages and all abilities”.
“This campus can serve as a wonderful community resource, as well as a center for national sports excellence,” he said.
A significant emphasis in the Campus Masterplan will be on sustainability with a range of ecological and biodiversity plans that are sensitive to the local environment, including green corridors and the retention of natural woodland, hedgerows and waterways.
A sustainable drainage scheme will be used within the site to control surface water flow and feed a new lake feature to be located at the heart of the site.