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Velodrome gets green lights as Sports Ireland Campus announce major expansion


The Sport Ireland Campus Masterplan is set for a major upgrade. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

The Sport Ireland Campus Masterplan is set for a major upgrade. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

The Sport Ireland Campus Masterplan is set for a major upgrade. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Hundreds of millions of euro will be invested over the next twenty years by the government in developing new facilities at the Sport Ireland Campus in Abbotstown.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced details of the plan on Thursday afternoon. The first significant infrastructural project is the construction of a long-awaited National Velodrome and Badminton Centre.

A planning application for the €60m project was lodged with Fingal County Council in August, with the work expected to begin in the third quarter of next year.

The refurbishment of Abbotstown House, the delivery of a major athlete accommodation hub as well as 9,000 square metres of office space to cater for 900 staff who work in National governing bodies, are among the other priorities listed.

It is envisaged that other major infrastructural projects including a new Cricket Stadium will be delivered over the life cycle of the masterplan.

However, Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers stressed that Ireland’s hosting of the 2030 T20 World Cup – Ireland co-host the tournament with England and Scotland – is not dependent on the stadium being ready for use by then.

Aside from the headline projects, the Masterplan Vision is designed to make Abbotstown a destination venue for people from all over the country. Walk and cycle paths are to be installed and a Museum of Sport is to be built.

Furthermore, there will be an emphasis on improving public transport links to the venue and access to the complex will be made easier with the opening of four different entrances.

A new north-south transport corridor is proposed to run through the centre of the site, improving accessibility and enabling different modes of public transport to correct the campus with the surrounding city.

“We will also have small and medium sized project every year and they will be the ones which will reach to sport specific venues across the whole campus,” said Sport Ireland CEO Una May.

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“The ethos of what we are planning is about a shared facility for both high performance and elite sport but also for the community. And that crossover is really special and unique in the world.

“This ability to combine the two is really important for us because when you have a High Performance Centre with elite athletes only it can be a little soulless.

“Over the summer we have had 10,000 kids between summer camps and school tours on the campus. You can have small children walking down the avenue and an Olympic gold medallist walking past them. It is really quite unique what we have to offer and what our plans are for the future.

“We will have at least one major project every year on the go. Our velodrome is our next major and we are hoping that it will be kicking off next year.

“Then we look to the next two significant parts of the plan which is around the athletes accommodation and the office campus. The concept of a village in the centre of the complex is really important as well,” said May.

The athlete hub will focus on athlete accommodation, supporting athlete facilities and meeting/conference spaces. It will include 120 short stay bed and 60 long-stay beds.

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