The Irish government will provide €20m (£17.1m/$22.2m) towards a stadium redevelopment project for Pro14 rugby union team Connacht, it has been announced.
An allocation of €10m had already been guaranteed under the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure (LSSIF) and this has been matched with a further €10m commitment following an announcement by Government Chief Whip Sean Kyne T.D.
The new investment has been secured due to the “economic significance” the Sportsground redevelopment will have on the wider region. The investment is aligned with Project 2040, the National Development Plan and the government’s commitment to “balanced regional development”.
Connacht secured full planning permission for the redevelopment of the Sportsground in May 2019. The €30m project will include a full redevelopment of the stadium, expanding the capacity of the venue from 8,000 to 12,000.
Connacht Rugby chief executive Willie Ruane said: “There is huge excitement in Connacht Rugby and throughout the province at the announcement that €20m in state funding is being allocated to the redevelopment of the Sportsground.
“I want to fully acknowledge the very significant support we have received from An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Mr Varadkar personally visited the Sportsground last year to receive a briefing on our plans and the strategic importance of the project to the wider regional economy.
“I would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Government Chief Whip Sean Kyne for the support he has shown throughout the project and in ultimately delivering the additional funding to make this project a reality.”
Connacht has played at the Galway-based stadium since 1927.
Image: Connacht Rugby