Larne FC’s £4m Inver Park upgrade plan ‘stuck in limbo’

An impression of what the new stands would look like at Inver Park. INLT 04-682-CON
An impression of what the new stands would look like at Inver Park. INLT 04-682-CON

Plans for a multi-million pound upgrade of Larne’s Inver Park have stalled, as funding to get the scheme off the ground remains elusive.

The major redevelopment, which is estimated to cost in the region of £4m, would see a 3g pitch laid at the ground, as well as the creation of a new all-weather training facility covered by a dome, and a new 1,100 seater stand.

Larne Football Club is hoping to secure funding for the ambitious scheme from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), which has set aside £36m for football stadium development.

It had been hoped that work could have commenced on the scheme prior to the start of the new season.

But chief executive of the club, Mervyn McKay said the project is effectively “stuck in limbo” due to a “lack of information” from DCAL.

He added: “Inver Park, like many grounds in the Irish League, is sorely in need of a makeover. This much-needed funding boost would allow us to bring our ground up to standard.”

An application for the sports dome element of the project will come before Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s planning committee today (Thursday), with a recommendation for approval.

Mervyn added: “It is disappointing and frustrating that the funding has not been forthcoming. The club has worked hard to progress the plans, but we cannot move forward until we have an update from the Department.”

A DCAL spokesperson told the Times: “Programme specific details in terms of eligibility criteria, funding strands, funding limits etc are currently being finalised. Plans for formal public consultation with key stakeholders are underway.”