|Image from www.irishfa.com.|
The Irish FA received £25.2m from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to develop an improved 18,000 capacity stadium. In July 2012 RPS were appointed to lead the planning application process and oversee the public consultation. Hamilton Architects were appointed to lead the integrated consulting team and are joined by Edmond Shipway, Arup, Rider Levett Bucknall and Ben Veenbrink. The Project Director of Titanic Belfast, Noel Molloy was appointed Programme Director for the stadium redevelopment in April 2012.
Following the 12 week public consultation process a planning application is expected to be submitted by the end of 2012 and construction work is likely to commence in August 2013. Commenting on the consultation process the IFA statement explained that:
"The aim is to bring about meaningful public engagement which contributes to the project design, helps to address any community concerns and to mitigate potentially negative impacts".
The construction process will be phased with a full completion date of Summer 2015. The full project will involve refurbishment of the north and west stands, demolition and rebuilding of the south and east stands, replacement of the current high mast flood lights with lower level lighting, development of office accommodation and new headquarters for the Irish Football Association and development of conference and community facilities.
The plans for the redevelopment are on display at seven locations in Belfast: Ballysillan Leisure Centre; Andersonstown Leisure Centre; Olympia Leisure Centre; Ozone Complex Ormeau Park; Greater Village Regeneration Trust Offices Donegall Road; Irish FA Offices at Adelaide Business Centre, Apollo Road and Belfast City Hall.