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Design & Development

Sligo Rovers net planning permission for The Showgrounds revamp

Featured image credit: Sligo Rovers

League of Ireland Premier Division football club Sligo Rovers has secured the final grant of planning permission for its proposed redevelopment of The Showgrounds stadium.

The decision from Sligo County Council comes after Rovers unveiled ambitious plans in May 2021 to transform The Showgrounds with the creation of an academy hub for the north-west region of the country.

The masterplan for the project, which has been designed by Rhatigan Architects, presented infrastructural design proposals for the future of Rovers, both at The Showgrounds and a potential academy site.

The plan was endorsed by Sligo County Council and the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), with a redeveloped Showgrounds to have a seated capacity of 6,000, surpassing all the requirements of a UEFA Category 3 stadium.

Following yesterday’s (Thursday’s) announcement, Rovers chairman Tommy Higgins said that the next step is to have the detailed designs and tender completed by the end of the year.

Once this is complete, the club will look to pursue funding streams to enable the main construction works to commence. In the meantime, it is expected that work will commence this season on upgrading of floodlights to UEFA standards.

Higgins added: “Our target is to have a new state of the art stadium and related facilities completed in advance of the club’s centenary in 2028 and the granting of planning permission represents a major step forward. Funding is a huge challenge but we believe the project represents a very worthy investment from many perspectives for the club, the community and the region.

“On behalf of the club, I would like to express my particular thanks to the FAI for their ongoing support in helping us move the project forward and the shared understanding that once completed the project will be a fantastic boost to football in the region.”

First opened in 1928, The Showgrounds has a current seated capacity of just under 4,000. The total cost of the overall project, as complied by Rhatigan Architects in 2021, is €17.3m (£15.3m/$18.3m).