Glimmer of hope for Dungiven sports project?

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The Chief Executive of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is ‘exploring all options’ for the proposed sports centre in Dungiven.

That was the promise given to members attending Tuesday night’s Leisure and Development Committee meeting.

A motion from Sinn Fein councillor Sean McGlinchey was withdrawn, on the back of a meeting held in Dungiven on Monday night.

“The meeting showed that we can debate and work together.

“I know that those who were present were encouraged by the manner of the meeting, “ said the Sinn Fein man.

UUP councillor William McCandless said that his party felt that funding could be found for the project.

“The UUP are on record in support of this project.

“I would appeal to Mr Baker, Council’s Corporate Director, to negotiate with DCAL for funding for this project.”

DUP councillor Trevor Clarke said that the meeting in Dungiven, ‘afforded his party the opportunity to hear from the people’.

“It was useful engagement,” he said.

“This is a huge Borough, and we have been put in the unfortunate position were we have a wish list from the legacy councils.

“I would ask the officers to review the scheme, and see if there is the potential for changes to bring the bill down, and also ask them to review all sources of funding - with a view to making the project fit the budget.”

SDLP councillor Gerry Mullan echoed all that had been said, he added: “I am delighted that there has been a change of heart.

“I hope that Council explores every avenue open to bring this project to a fruitful conclusion.”

UUP cllr Richard Holmes took offence at cllr Mullan’s comments adding: “There is no change of heart.

“The UUP have supported this from day one.

DUP member Trevor Clarke agreed adding: “We have been supportive of the £2.5 million scheme - it’s the forecast cost has thrown us.”

SDLP cllr Gerry Mullan came back into the debate, and added: “There was a perception out there, and until the meeting in Dungiven the prospect of the project going ahead was not positive.

“The meeting showed real politics in action, there is now better understanding between local representatives. I am optimistic about the whole thing,” he said.

Corporate Director Richard Baker told members that both ‘all options’ were being ‘explored’ by both himself and the Chief Executive, David Jackson.