Givan opens new 3G pitch at Ballinran, Kilkeel
Minister for Communities, Paul Givan MLA, has officially opened a new £528,000 sports facility at Binnian Park, Ballinran, Kilkeel.
The new state of the art facility, which was jointly funded by the Department for Communities and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, includes a full sized 3G football pitch with associated fencing and flood lights. Currently home to Valley Rangers Football Club, the new pitch will benefit the Club, Ballinran Community Association, local schools, youth clubs, and other sporting, voluntary and community organisations.
The Minister said: “This is an impressive development and will be an asset not just for Valley Rangers Football Club but also the Bracken Centre and the wider community in this beautiful rural location in the Mournes.
“Sport helps unite people and these enhanced amenities will strengthen the club’s capacity to contribute to community cohesion in Kilkeel and further afield.”
The Minister continued: “It is admirable how the many partners involved in this project worked tirelessly alongside the local community to develop and deliver this prestigious facility. I thank and congratulate all involved for their commitment and hard work in driving the project forward and I look forward to seeing the pitch being put to good use.”
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick said: "I am delighted to be here this morning to mark the official opening of the £528,000 development of a purpose-built 3G sports pitch on the edge of the Mourne Mountains.
"Binnian Park boasts stunning panoramic views of the coast and the Mourne Mountains and is located just minutes from the lively towns of Kilkeel and Annalong.
"Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has worked in partnership with the Department for Communities, the Ballinran Community Association and Valley Rangers in planning this new facility. The new 3G pitch demonstrates this Council’s commitment to the district’s Active and Healthy Communities Strategy, allowing people to be more active, more often.
"The new 3G pitch will be used by many user groups from local football teams, schools and the local community. The advantage of the 3G synthetic pitch type is it can be used for a longer amount of time than grass pitches and is available for more of the time – combined with the floodlights, the pitch can be used at nights and during winter months, which is a great asset for improving and extending training sessions for teams.
"This will have the associated benefits of not only raising skill levels, but also helping to raise levels of health and well-being of the users and hopefully in the wider community as the popularity of the facility increases.
"I wish to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all those individuals and organisations who have worked so hard to realise this project today. This new facility for the Mournes area is another fantastic example of how we can work together to create real change in our communities."