Loughgall submit response to DCAL

Jamie Rea (right).
Jamie Rea (right).

Loughgall officials have registered the club’s disapproval of the current DCAL stadium development proposals - but remain positive over the prospects of future progress at Lakeview Park.

The Sub-Regional Stadia Programme for Soccer - issued last November by the Department of Arts, Culture and Leisure (DCAL) - is currently on the table and understood to allocate £10 million towards Glentoran as part of the proposal.

Loughgall have previously registered a wishlist to the Northern Ireland Football League that includes a combination of ground improvements and an upgrade to training facilities.

Clubs must respond to DCAL in relation to the latest proposal ahead of a February 22 deadline.

“At a recent NIFL meeting we, along with many other clubs, made aware our feelings that the current proposal, which was drawn up in 2011 and allocates £10 million to Glentoran, is not a fair split,” said Loughgall chairman John McCann. “As it stands, that is all we can react to at present as any other possible proposals remain hypothetical.

“With the new financial year due in April and elections in May then we do not know how everything is going to develop in terms of a timeline.

“However, in connection to our own club ambitions, we are awaiting planning approval from the council then there is a five-year window in which to move forward.”

Around £3,000 has been spent to submit plans to council officials, with a view to approval.

“In terms of working towards the Club Licence for the 2017/18 season, we have various areas to develop inside the ground,” said McCann. “These include increased seating, improved floodlights, enhanced disabled facilities and work on turnstiles and toilets.

“We also want to develop the current gravel pitch at the bottom of Lakeview Park into a 3G facility suitable for training and playing.

“Our plans included on the wishlist will cost over £1 million.”

Loughgall will visit Lisburn Distillery tomorrow (Saturday) from 2 o’clock in NIFL Championship One.