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Massive boost to Thurles' dream of state of the art tennis facilities

Noel Dundon

Reporter:

Noel Dundon

Email:

nd@tipperarylive.ie

John McNally

Vincent Cunnane, President of LIT and John McNally at the signing of the agreement which paved the way for the facilities in Thurles

Over €0.5million allocated for Regional Sports Complex

€562,554 funding has been allocated for a Regional Sports Campus in Thurles in a major boost for the area and the for the proposal to have a state-of-the-art tennis facility in the town.


The eagerly awaited announcement forms the first part of a total project spend of €18,710,000 and the news has been broadly welcomed by Fine Gael Councillor Garret Ahearn, Labour's Deputy Alan Kelly and Fianna Fail's Thurles based Deputy Jackie Cahill TD.


Deputy Cahill, who lives only a stones throw from the proposed development, said: "I'm delighted to have been able to play a part along with my other Oireachtas colleagues in securing this funding for my hometown of Thurles.”


Deputy Cahill went to say that Thurles is considered to be an educational hub with LIT Thurles, MIC St. Patrick's, The Apprentice Centre at Archerstown, Coláiste Éile and our Secondary and Primary schools that we can all be so proud of.
"Great credit is due to all the sporting organisations in the County who worked so hard to make this happen."

Students from the Ursuline Secondary School in Thurles pictured at the launch some time ago. The dream took a step closer to becoming a reality this week.


Deputy Kelly said: “I have been the biggest advocate for the sports lab and sports campus in Thurles. Since I was a Government Minister and opened the new Sports Lab, I have worked with Tipperary GAA, Tipperary Co Council, LIT and Tennis Ireland on the development of its Sports Campus in LIT Thurles. In fact it was because of representations made to me for a tennis facility in Thurles some years back that this whole project came together.


“That's why I am delighted that Thurles Sports Campus has been awarded €562,554. The project consists of a tennis centre containing six covered clay courts and two open air courts; one 4G full-sized floodlit pitch incorporating a covered stand for 600 spectators; one sand-carpet, full-sized floodlit pitch with covered accommodation for further spectators as part of the principal stand structure; a multi-purpose ancillary space building, an extension to the strength and conditioning facility and a lit running trail. The total cost of the project is €18,710,000.


“I was delighted to be able to be the first to inform many of the people who have worked on this great project for many years. I also want to congratulate the four organisations on their great work to date.'
Cllr Ahearn, a Fine Gael candidate in the up-coming general election said: “Thurles Regional Sports Campus is one of seven to be allocated funding under the new Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF). This funding is part of a €18.7M project between Tipperary county council, Tennis Ireland, Tipperary GAA and LIT.


“This includes a tennis centre containing six covered clay courts and two open air courts, one full size floodlit pitch incorporating a covered stand for 600 spectators, one sand carpet, full sized floodlit pitch with covered accommodation for further spectators as part of the principal stand structure, a multi purpose ancillary space building, an extension to the strength and conditioning facility and a lit running trail.”


“These grants represent the successful Stream 1 proposals which are applications seeking funding towards the cost of developing projects to the point that an application for construction work can be submitted in the future.
“This follows the allocation of €77.4m in funding last week to fund the constructions of facilities under Stream 2 of the fund.
“I am delighted to see this important local project benefit from funding. It plays a significant role in our community and I look forward to watching it go from strength to strength in the future,” Cllr Garret Ahearn said.


Minister Brendan Griffin said “We know that sporting success at high-performance level has the ability to lift the spirits of entire communities. To achieve this high level success however, we need to invest in facilities across the country.