Londonderry's Brandywell sports centre to be demolished over safety concerns

Brandywell sports centre
Image caption The sports centre has been closed on a regular basis in recent months

Brandywell sports centre in Derry is to be demolished because of health and safety concerns.

It has been closed for a number of months after an inspection revealed the building had structural problems.

The centre is located within the showgrounds, next to Derry City Football Club, on the Lone Moor Road. It will now be temporarily relocated.

Demolition costs will be part of the multi-million pound Brandywell redevelopment project.

Image copyright Ostick & Williams
Image caption The new Brandywell stadium is part of an overall redevelopment project for the area

Work on the redevelopment is due to begin in July with Derry City FC hoping to have a new stadium in place for the 2017 season.

Derry City and Strabane District Council said the health inspection showed the facility would require "regular intervention" and result in "partial and full closure of the facility" on a frequent basis.

A complete refurbishment of the centre was estimated to cost between £500,000 and £750,000.

A partial refurbishment was estimated to cost roughly half that.

As a result, the council's health and community committee agreed on Thursday that demolition of the premises was the most cost-effective measure.

Karen McFarland, Health and Community Director, said the demolition of the sports centre will have benefits including "improved location for kennelling and weighing room facilities, the relocation of Lone moor Road access to improve parking and enhancements to the dog track".

The location for the new sports centre will be presented to council at a later date.

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