The redevelopment of Northern Ireland’s Windsor Park national stadium is set to commence in September after planning permission for the £29.2 million project was granted on Wednesday.
The planning application for the Belfast venue was lodged in December and it is now set to be transformed into an 18,000-seat stadium. Windsor Park first opened in 1905 but its current dilapidated state has meant it is restricted to a capacity of under 13,000. The future of the venue has been debated for many years and a brand new stadium at one stage looked set for development elsewhere in Belfast.
However, Wednesday’s news has been welcomed by the Irish Football Association, whose president, Jim Shaw, said: “Receiving planning permission from DOE Planning is another major step in the Windsor Park redevelopment project and a great step forward for football in Northern Ireland. Everyone involved in the project has worked extremely hard to get to this stage and I would like to thank everyone involved in the project as well as all the stakeholders who shared their thoughts during the consultation process. The National Football Stadium plans are truly impressive and I know that once the redevelopment project is complete Windsor Park will be a stadium which we will all be proud of.”
The Northern Ireland Executive has endorsed up to £110 million for regional stadium development in the country. The Windsor Park project is envisioned to cost in the region of £29.2 million, with £25.2 million coming from government funds.