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New state-of-the-art 3G pitch officially opened in Tandragee

Lord Mayor of Armagh City and District Council, Robert Turner along with Mr Gerry Lavery, Under Secretary Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), have officially opened a new £468,000 state-of-the-art third generation (3G), artificial grass pitch with floodlights in Tandragee.

They were joined on Tuesday by representatives from Armagh City and District Council, the Southern Organisation for Action in Rural Areas (SOAR) and DARD in declaring the pitch at Tandragee Recreation Centre open.

As part of the celebrations and in preparation for their 2014 Milk Cup campaign, the County Armagh under 15 Milk Cup squad took part in a challenge match against Armagh City under 15 Youth Team to mark the occasion.

To add to the evening the Marie Curie Irish Cup, which was won by Glenavon FC in May, was also on show.

The floodlit pitch built on the site of a disused games area uses the latest synthetic turf and provides an excellent playing surface for young players to develop their skills. Their durability enables them to withstand multiple training sessions and matches every day of the week in all weather conditions.

The project was funded by DARD’s Axis 3 Rural Development Programme, delivered by SOAR, along with match funding from Armagh City and District Council.

Lord Mayor Robert Turner said: “This is an outstanding new facility. Developing new grassroots facilities, such as these, are essential in increasing the number of people who have a chance to stay fit and healthy through participating in sport”.

Mr Gerry Lavery Under Secretary DARD said: “It is very satisfying to see how Rural Development funding available from DARD and delivered through the Local Action Group and Joint Council Committee can improve the living conditions and welfare of those living in rural areas.  I hope that the improvements to the facilities here at Tandragee Recreation Centre will provide a much better service to the local population including those in the surrounding area and encourage an increase in visitors and participants to the Centre”.

The Cusher Councillors said: “We are delighted with this top-of-the range outdoor pitch which will offer year-round opportunities for both adults and young people to take part in sport. Not only will it help increase participation in football and outdoor sport, it will aid the development of grassroots football in local clubs. We are continuing to invest in our sporting facilities and this new pitch will provide opportunities to encourage new people to take part in physical activity and also encourage people who’ve played sport and perhaps stopped for whatever reason to take it up again”.

The main contractor Tony Patterson Sports Grounds Ltd along with Consulting Engineers Taylor and Boyd are to be congratulated on delivering this project on time and within budget.

For more details on how to book the new 3G pitch or for general centre information, contact Tandragee Recreation Centre on 028 3884 1110 or email: trc@armagh.gov.uk

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