Cobh Municipality Chairman, Cllr Ger Keohane, says there is a need for the Government to step in and facilitate the completion of a multi-million Euro sports complex planned for Glanmire.
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI), FORAS, the Trust that operates Cork City FC and Cork County Council, made a big splash and lofty promises in 2016 to develop a multi-million Euro sports complex in Glanmire on 30 acres of Council owned land.
However, it now appears that those plans have stalled.
With the full backing of Cork County Council the FAI unveiled plans for the Glanmire Soccer School of Excellence that would rival any sporting facility in the country, including the National Training Centre at Abbotstown.
The Local Authority completed the lease of the lands at Brookelodge to the Football Association but the project appears to be stalled.
Construction of the €10 million project was expected to begin in 2017, but it has now been revealed the FAI plan is dependent on Government funding.
The Football Association say they have applied for a €6million grant through the Department of Tourism and Sports new €50million sports infrastructure grant scheme announced earlier this year.
Cllr Keohane said he needed “100 per cent clarification that the project will go ahead. “
“If the FAI is stalling, or the Government can’t come up with the funds, it’s time to revisit the project and give it to clubs who could use the land.”
The Independent Cllr said with the green light given to millions of Euro in infrastructural works in Glanmire, capable of delivering 1,300 new homes, clubs in the area could make good use of the Council leased lands.
“Riverstown FC, for example, who have 640 members, want to expand their grounds at East Cliff but they can’t. It’s going to get to the stage where land is not going to be available and kids will have to travel to clubs outside the area.”
The Government has remained silent on whether or not the Glanmire project is to receive grant aid .
The carefully selected FAI site ensured the facility would be available to over half a million people who live within an hour’s drive of the complex.
The FAI plan is designed to support the development of association football in County Cork and Munster. The facility will have a state of the art clubhouse and youth education centre, with a number of full and medium sized pitches, along with a physiotherapy and medical room, catering for elite and international squads and coaches.
Operating costs for the facility are estimated in the region of €250,000 annually, which is in line with other similar sites such as the FAI National Training Centre at the National Sports Complex and the AUL Complex in Dublin. .
The site, which is strategically located close to the Dunkettle roundabout, had received scores of objections from groups and individuals concerned with the impact which the facility would have on the residential amenity, the adequacy of the road infrastructure to accommodate the development and surface water disposal and flooding concerns.
The objections have subsequently been adequately resolved.