Coleraine reveal ambitious plans to redevelop Showgrounds home

A South East aerial view of The Showgrounds with the Railway End in view to the left and the Jack Doherty Grandstand to the right.
A South East aerial view of The Showgrounds with the Railway End in view to the left and the Jack Doherty Grandstand to the right.

Coleraine Football Club have revealed ambitious plans for the redevelopment of their Showgrounds home.

As well as installing a 4G pitch at the Ballycastle Road venue the Bannsiders has announced they are planning to redevelop the Shed End side of the ground with the construction of a 2,000 seater grandstand, refurbish the existing Jack Doherty Grandstand replacing the present changing facilities and Social Club, install safe standing at the Railway End and away end stand, and redevelop the training pitch by installing three 4G small-sided game pitches, with floodlights, changing facilities, community rooms and a cafe.

A close-up view of the new clubhouse.

A close-up view of the new clubhouse.

Fans were brought up to speed with the plans at a special information evening last Friday night.

With Chairman Colin McKendry insisting the facilities must be upgraded so that the ‘club doesn’t fall behind their rivals'.

As with all redevelopment work financing is key with the club looking at several avenues to bring in the necessary funding required including grants, club bonds and fundraising.

A steering committee has already been formed which includes: Nevin Oliver, Kyle Alexander, Andy Murphy, Maurice Bradley, Colin McKendry, Adrian McCready, Bill Gamble, Tim Robinson and Ian McClelland.

This design shows the front of The Showgrounds from the Ballycastle Road. It was confirmed that the current wall outside the ground would be removed for this part of the project to take place.

This design shows the front of The Showgrounds from the Ballycastle Road. It was confirmed that the current wall outside the ground would be removed for this part of the project to take place.

The club will use the expertise of Tommy Whiteside, who helped to deliver Cliftonville’s, Crusaders’ and Larne’s pitch redevelopment on time and in budget.

The Bannsiders are looking to complete the first phase of the development, the installation of the new pitch, by next summer with the ground redevelopment work given a two to five year time frame.

A spokesperson for the club said: "The Club will seek feedback from fans and supporters’ groups about the new project, before appointing consultants and implement a funding strategy.

"The main point of concern is regarding the 4G pitch, with a £100,000 deposit needing to be raised before an order can be placed in January 2020.

"If the money can be raised, the pitch will be and installation will proceed the Monday after the last home game, with the aim of having everything approved for the start of the 2020/21 season."

* Images by GM Design Associates Ltd