- 17 October 2012
The Minister commenting on the appointment of designers Mott McDonald and professional consultants the Integrated Consultancy Team (ICT) said: “This represents a significant step in the progress of the Stadium Development Programme. The upgrade of the GAA’s Casement Park; rugby’s Ravenhill and soccer’s Windsor Park have been a key priority for both me and my Department.
“The appointment of Mott McDonald and ICT are a key milestone in taking forward the design and development of a new 40,000 seater stadium at Casement Park. As well as the obvious benefits to sports fans that these stadiums bring, there are also the wider socio economic benefits and employment opportunities being brought forward in these challenging economic times. Earlier in the year the Executive and the Assembly endorsed my Department’s commitments in the Programme for Government to deliver on the three stadiums. Together, they represent one of the biggest capital construction projects in this Assembly’s lifetime, totalling around £130million.
"Gaelic Games attracts a greater number of spectators to its games on a regular basis than other sports in the north. The Department's investment of £61.4million enables the GAA to ensure the venue is safe and welcoming for the numbers of supporters likely to attend matches. Inspired by and supported by volunteers the GAA promotes both Gaelic games and culture meaning this development represents not only support for sporting excellence and participation but also the wider community.
“These are exciting times for the GAA as they embark on one of the largest and most significant projects since the redevelopment of Croke Park. I look forward to seeing the designs and working with them to achieve a first class provincial stadium in the heart of Belfast."
In welcoming today’s announcement the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said: “The upgrading of Casement Park, Windsor Park and Ravenhill are a key commitment in the Executive’s Programme for Government, and the appointment of Mott McDonald and their partners in the ICT is a red letter day in the overall development of the Casement Park project. The value of sport to society is immeasurable and the role of the GAA in community life is the bedrock of the association. I commend the GAA in Ulster, under the leadership of Provincial Director Dr. Danny Murphy and the Stadium Project Board under the chairmanship of Tom Daly, in bringing the redevelopment of casement park to this stage and I have no doubt that the design team will come up with some innovative solutions.