New pitch for hockey club marks an exciting future.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

New pitch for hockey club marks an exciting future. thumbnail Banbridge Hockey Club was proud to announce a new pitch at Havelock Park, with the first sod being cut yesterday. Local MLAs and president of BHC, Roger Martin were present at the special launch event.

THERE is an exciting new future for hockey in Banbridge as work is set to begin on a brand new pitch in the town.

Banbridge Hockey Club President Roger Martin, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Alderman Gareth Wilson and Fergus Devitt, from the Department for Communities, yesterday (Monday, 12 February) marked history as they cut the sod for a new pitch at Havelock Park.

Work will now get underway to replace the current pitch, which has been in place for over 11 years.

Roger Martin said the club was "delighted" that work to replace the pitch at Havelock Park will get underway soon.

"The current pitch has come to the end of its lifespan and there were health and safety concerns around its continued usage.

"We have been working on the replacement pitch project for some time and we would like to thank the Department for Communities and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for their considerable support and for helping us to get over the line," he said.

He added: "We are one of the top clubs on the island of Ireland providing hockey for pre-school children up to our senior teams and to those of all abilities and we are delighted that, through the provision of a new pitch at Havelock Park, this will continue in the years ahead.

"This is a significant investment for us and it will ensure that we can provide top-class facilities for hockey and other sports in Banbridge and attract senior international games and major tournaments to the club.

Mr Martin said there would be some disruption in the coming weeks as the work took place, but said they have contingency plans in place for matches in the interim.

"While the work is taking place there will obviously be some disruption to our training and match schedules.

"We would like to thank Banbridge Academy, Banbridge High School and other local hockey clubs for making their pitches available to us during the construction phase."

Fergus Devitt, Director of Active Communities Division, Department for Communities, said: "It is great to be involved in this project and to be here for this exciting day at Banbridge Hockey Club.

"This project will provide a fantastic, safe sporting facility for the club and wider community in Banbridge and we are pleased to be able to support it." Lord Mayor, Alderman Gareth Wilson said the club had done its part in making Banbridge known throughout the country and further afield.

"Throughout its history Banbridge Hockey Club has put the town and local area on the map and we are delighted to be supporting this project, which will allow hockey and other sports to continue here.

"With a new pitch in place, we hope to see more international matches and tournaments coming to the club and providing a boost to local businesses and the area and to see the club deliver further success." Crawford Group has been appointed, through a tendering process, to carry out the work which will start on Monday, 26 February and is expected to be completed by Easter 2018.

Alternative arrangements for training sessions and matches have been made and will be publicised on the Banbridge Hockey Club website in due course.


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