Northern Ireland

Casement Park stadium designers appointed

Casement Park
Image caption A new 40,000 all-seater stadium is expected to be completed by September 2015.

The redevelopment of Casement Park into a 40,000 all-seater stadium has taken a significant step forward.

Experienced stadium designers Mott MacDonald Ltd have been appointed to lead those carrying out the £76.4m project.

The work on the west Belfast GAA stadium is expected to last for 21 months and be completed by 2015.

The team will now develop a design brief and plan public consultation events.

A formal application for planning permission will be submitted by the end of March 2013.

The GAA will provide around £15m of the funding and the exchequer £61.4m.

Minister Chairman of the Stadium Project Board, Tom Daly, said the announcement marked "the culmination of an intensive period of work over the past twelve months".

"The challenge is to now work in partnership with the community, all strands of the GAA and the statutory stakeholders to ensure that the vision for this magnificent new stadium for the GAA in Ulster can be achieved on time, within budget and to the highest quality standards."

Sports minister Caral Ni Chuilin said the appointment was "a significant step".

"The upgrade of the GAA's Casement Park, rugby's Ravenhill and soccer's Windsor Park have been a key priority for both me and my department," she said.

"These are exciting times for the GAA as they embark on one of the largest and most significant projects since the redevelopment of Croke Park. I look forward to seeing the designs and working with them to achieve a first class provincial stadium in the heart of Belfast."

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