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‘Jennings’ sports hub business plan approved for Newry

The development will include playing fields for football, rugby and GAA

A business case for a Newry sports hub on grounds named after a legendary Northern Ireland goalkeeper has been approved.

The development will include playing fields for football, rugby and GAA at Jennings Park which is named after Arsenal and Spurs shot stopper Pat Jennings, who hails from the border city.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s (NMDDC) active and healthy communities committee discussed the report on the multi-million pound plans on Monday night (May 20) behind closed doors, away from the media and public.

An ICT ( integrated consultancy team) is also to be appointment to guide the project through various stages including detailed design, planning approval, contractor appointment and delivery.

In open session, committee chairperson Roisin Howell of Sinn Féin said: “On the multi-sports hub, it was agreed on the proposal of Cllr Mathers (Sinn Féin) and seconded by Cllr Finn (SDLP) to approve the business case and appointment of an ICT ( integrated consultancy team) utilising council’s current framework to advance the sports hub project as detailed in the report.”

In November last year, a statue of the goalkeeper was unveiled outside Newry Town Hall with Jennings and his family in attendance as well as former stars of soccer, Liam Brady, Gerry Armstrong and Ledley King paying tribute to one of the greatest keepers of all time.

The council committee decision will go forward to the next full council meeting to be ratified, although ‘Big Pat’ himself has already given it the nod.

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